By no means the best album in the world, but it will still do well and strike a chord with millions of youths “caught in the middle of love”
Charli XCX’s brand new album, Sucker, is a completed ‘Wreck This Journal’. For those of you that don’t know, ‘Wreck This Journal’ is a current, extremely popular, phase amongst teenagers worldwide, where they buy a Journal which inside instructs the owner to, for example: “Tear out this page, accept the loss” or “Draw all over the cover/contents page”; i.e. any way you could possibly think of to physically ‘wreck’ the journal.
Despite the instructions, each completed journal is totally unique as the whole point is for the owner to interpret the directions however they want to and to make the journal their own. Sucker is therefore a completed journal as Charli XCX has flung her heart and soul into smearing her paint-spattered teenage feelings about boys, parents and moving out for the first time, into her slightly aggressive but tongue-in-cheek record.
Previously released singles, ‘Boom Clap’ and ‘Break The Rules’ have been hard to escape from, both earning themselves positions in the UK Top 40 and combined with her guest appearance on global superstar Iggy Azalea’s smash hit ‘Fancy’ and her recent collaboration with UK starlet, Rita Ora, there has been much buzz surrounding the 22 year-old from Hertfordshire.
Despite Sucker actually being Charli XCX’s third studio album, most assume it is the singer’s debut, as she has only very recently hit the big time. The record is the definition of pop: the kind you secretly don’t want to admit you know all the words to but are happy to belt out at the top of your lungs in Jesters on a Monday night. It is vibrant, short and punchy and somehow an explosion of colour – a perfect soundtrack to lazy days on holiday by the pool or on the beach and consequently its December release seems strange to me.
Even Charli XCX’s image reflects this vibrant infectious youthfulness – her slightly indie style: big wavy hair, bright red lipstick, perfectly arched eyebrows and leopard print/denim everything screams the noughties, the classic ‘recycling items from every decade’ look. Her care-free attitude is also mirrored in her songs, title track ‘Sucker’ apparently addresses everyone who doesn’t understand her or what she is trying to achieve and those that frequently refer to her as a “sell-out”; whilst Charli XCX boldly declares she is ‘So Over You’ in slightly slower, heart-felt track 11.
However, like all teenagers, Charli XCX contradicts herself at every turn, showing a more sensitive and less empowering side in final track ‘Need Ur Luv’ where she sings in her distinctive, slightly husky Marina-and-the-Diamonds-inspired tone: “I need your love, even when it hurts me”.
Named the ‘Best Pop Album of 2014’ by Rolling Stone magazine the sky currently appears the limit for this lady. Even though this album is arguably confined to teenage girls in their bedroom – made even more evident by the fact Charlotte Emma Aitchison chose ‘Charli XCX’ as her stage name as it was her tagline on much-loved, slightly retro messenger service MSN – anyone can relate to the emotions she throws at the listener through catchy, repetitive lyrics. After all, Taylor Swift has had unprecedented success from a similar vibe, and therefore although Sucker is by no means the best album I’ve ever heard, it will still do well and strike a chord with millions of youths “caught in the middle of love”.
Sucker is out now via Atlantic Records.