Album Review: Charli XCX, ‘Sucker’

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Charli XCX is overrated. After two huge hits that captured the zeitgeist, Charli XCX hopes to find success on her own with her second commercially released album, Sucker. The problem is that the song sounds like bad ’90s alternative pop a la Shampoo. Granted, Charli XCX has more talent than either member of the band behind “Trouble,” but talent doesn’t prevent Charli XCX’s album from getting tedious.

Photo Credit: Bella Howard
Photo Credit: Bella Howard

From a songwriter with so much promise, one would expect several songs on Sucker to stand out. Instead, there’s no song approaching the catchiness or cleverness of “I Love It” or, even, “Fancy.” Sucker is filled with fairly generic dance pop sung with a punky sing/talk affectation.

By acting like she’s not a commercial pop act, Charli XCX reveals that she’s actually more manufactured than she cares to admit. She’s the Avril Lavigne to Ariana Grande’s Christina Aguilera. Otherwise, “Break the Rules” and “London Queen” wouldn’t have been released. At 22, Charli XCX is too old to relate to “I don’t want to go to school. I just want to break the rules.” She’s singing for misguided middle schoolers. She even goes one step further with her desire to appeal to rebellious kids by baffling parents with lyrics like “London Queen’s” “When I’m driving on the wrong side of the road. I feel like JFK you know,” which would be controversial had it any made sense.

The rest of Sucker, with the exception of “Boom Clap,” blends together. It’s all a mishmash of wanting to be rich, falling in love, and indecipherable meanings. Charli XCX may think she will change the future of pop music, but she’s basically a punky Kesha. Move on folks. We’re dealing with the next faux trashy pop star with attitude and nothing more.

Rating: 3 out of 10

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Allison Lips is the Founder of Wait! What’s a Dial?, a television blog that showcases the writing of millennials. Allison graduated from Rowan University in May 2013. She has a passion for TV history, especially late night and game shows. If she could go back in time, Steve Allen would still be hosting The Tonight Show. Follow her on Twitter @waitwaitsadial.

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Anglophile, Rockabilly, Pompadour lover, TV and Music Critic