brat, but it’s actually just a review for the album, and I liked it, by the way.

brat album cover via

Bryan Baste | Contributing Writer

I don’t listen to a ton of EDM-type pop in my free time so the names of SOPHIE and A.G Cook pass me by.

However, I have always been curious about this world of music since it has always had a cult-like following. Especially with Charli XCX who I feel has never been a huge popstar here; rather, she’s probably bigger in the UK (where she’s from).

However, with this new album, brat, I feel like Charli has ascended into superstardom.

The album has an infectious bubblegum, electronic, pop feel to it throughout; the bass on almost every song is jumping constantly and there is always a constant change in rhythm which I love.

360” is a great example as the bass is constantly going in and the dance vibe never leaves the song for even a second. The production also never becomes boring through smart beat breaks when the chorus comes in and Charli does a wonderful job playing around with her vocals using auto-tune to compliment the rhythm of A.G Cook’s production.

A great production moment is also found on track seven “Everything is romantic”. 

The song starts with a beautiful orchestral section with soaring grand violins, and woodwind instruments to complement feeling small and feeble yet grand – probably the most beautiful bit of music I’ve heard all year.

This then beat changes to a more reggaeton type of instrumentation, with hard-hitting 808s and an almost drill-sounding snare that helps elevate those 808s. All this while keeping that pop-y danceable feel throughout the song with small synths in the background in tune with that bubblegum production. 

My favorite track, “Spring breakers” (on the deluxe version) has huge 808s and gigantic clap snares pushing the song—then followed by a catchy complimentary synth line in the interlude that adds a whole layer of Charli’s dance floor anthem. She just sounds like she’s having a blast making this record and it makes me have a great time listening.

While the production remained a highlight for me, something that really surprised me was the lyrics. They are so raw at times and honestly, I can’t remember a pop artist with lyrics as open as these. 

Like in “Sympathy is a knife” the lyrics: “Why I wanna buy a gun?” “ Why I wanna shoot myself?”  “Volatilе at war with my dialogue” hones in that despite being confident she is also at war with her own insecurities constantly as a pop star.

I think about it all the time” talks about her insecurities again but this time with her future and the thought of having children: “Cause maybe one day I might/If I don’t run out of time/Would it make me miss all my freedom?” reflect Charli’s thinking at this point in her life; the album has common themes of her confidence and insecurities going hand-in-hand.

In conclusion, it is possibly my album of the year so far, huge, fun, danceable production constantly infects this album like a hot pink, bedazzled virus. 

Charli’s lyrics are also top-notch and surprisingly introspective. With the combo of great lyrics and fantastic production, it’s no wonder why Charli has reached her superstar apex here.

8/10 for me -w-.

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