“CRASH” is the fifth studio album released by Charli XCX. Since its release on March 18, the album has received universal acclaim. The Independent gave it five stars, a perfect score.
Frankly, the word perfect cannot even really do it justice because perfect fails to describe all the ways in which this album is a miracle of modern music making.
“CRASH” is simultaneously an eighties-inspired, full-throated, pedal-to-the-metal jam-fest and a meticulously modern hyperpop album, it is a truly incredible synthesis of sound.
In between soaring ballad vocals and luscious eighties style synth sounds are all the technical vocal effects and gnarly little drum sounds that hyperpop fans adore.
Getting into the details, it is clear that a lot of thought was put into this album. All tracks are sequenced perfectly. The lyrics are very relevant to the current moment and still magically evocative of a bygone era.
The songs themselves are like 12 multi-colored jewels on the crown that is this album. The album opener “Crash” is like the pace car for the rest of the album and rest assured, the pace is fast. The song ends with an incredible guitar solo and the sonic version of a car crash that sends you right into the next song, “New Shapes.”
“New Shapes” is an incredibly danceable song. Christine and the Queens and Caroline Polachek are perfect features on this song. Along with Charli, they make this song take off like a rocket.
Similarly, Rina Sawayama on “Beg for You” is transcendent. “Beg for You” is perfect for the dance floor or a midnight drive, it is really something to hear.
“Lightning” strikes in fantastic fashion. Every key is perfectly struck in this song, there is not a tile out of place in this utter mosaic of sound. It is punchy and addictive and yet at the same time it is “Never Too Much” like Luther Vandross.
How do you move on from such a banger? The answer is with “Every Rule.” Every album ought to have that one song that is simply a vibe, this is that song for “CRASH.” “Every Rule” is full of sounds that fall down like leaves or rose petals in the autumn breeze.
“Twice” is like a love letter at the end of the world. Emotionally, the relevance of this song seems obvious given the state of the world. Despite that or maybe even because of that, “Twice” is the perfect way to end this utterly immaculate album.