Charli XCX – “True Romance” (2013)


Label : IAMSOUND/Atlantic Records

Review by Luisa Mercier

Charli XCX (aka Charlotte Aitchison) is another rising indie pop artist coming from the UK, a country that has given us a long strip of stars, first of them coming to my mind is Marina & The Diamonds that Charli is supporting on tour. The album is a powerful mix of modern sounds, ’80s synths, industrial, darkwave that clearly reminded me of The Birthday Massacre. Listen to the keyboards in the opener (and single) “Nuclear Seasons” to see what I mean. “You (Ha Ha Ha)” is another single that was launched some time ago and sounds like something you might hear on a mainstream radio, but at the same time it is totally unfit for people who like normal chart-hitting pop. “Take My Hand” is my personal favourite thanks to the epic synth in the background, so the danceable feeling is matched to a more symphonic sound. “Stay Away” is definetely darker and emotional without losing hook. “Set Me Free” follows in the same vein, maybe it is a lightly more hopeful, sweeping with her sweet voice. I must say that her vocals do not particularily stand out because of some special features, but are very well integrated with the rest and are really expressive. “Grins” has an ethnic mood that the others tracks are missing while with “So Far Away” we are back to her usual sound with an interesting addition since this song is clearly influenced by rap. “Cloud Aura” features Brook Candy and is another attempt to rap. Given that I am not that rap lover, I can say that I have quite enjoyed these two songs before getting onto house/techno with “What I Like”. Much more industrial driven “How Can I” that is way darker than all the tracks of the album put together. Highly recommended if you look for something catchy, but not too simple or mainstream influenced.

Rating – 75/100



  1. Nuclear Seasons
  2. You (Ah Ah Ah)
  3. Take My Hand
  4. Stay Away
  5. Set Me Free
  6. Grins
  7. So Far Away
  8. Cloud Aura (feat. Brook Candy)
  9. What I Like
  10. Black Roses
  11. You’re The One
  12. How Can I
  13. Lock You Up


Line Up

  • Charli XCX – Vocals & songwriting


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