Charli XCX Gets Vulnerable on Referential Club Album ‘BRAT’

Over an eclectic collection of club beats, she opens up about insecurities, doubt, grief and grappling with existential questions.

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The world knows Charli XCX as cool, careless and 100% authentically herself. On her sixth album BRAT, the pop star pulls back the curtain to wax poetic about jealousy, insecurity, love, grief and existential questions about her career and future.

Charli’s cult fanbase has been expecting her self-described “club record” for a few months now. In February, she delivered the most RSVP-ed Boiler Room set in history, played for a small crowd in New York with assistance from her longtime producer A.G. Cook and her fiance, The 1975’s George Daniels.

The previously released singles – “360,” “Von Dutch,” “Club Classics” and “B2b” – promised high-energy, eclectic dance tracks. BRAT certainly delivers on that front but other songs dive far deeper beyond the “pop star” persona Charli has carefully cultivated over the past decade.

On “Girl, you’re so confusing,” she paints a picture of a complicated relationship with another singer who she may or may not collaborate with, using the situation as a foundation to reflect on her own insecurities and anxieties. Another track, “I think about it all the time,” sees Charli deliver stripped-down vocals as she ruminates on the potential of having a child and what it would mean to step away from her career.

“So I,” which Charli previously performed at Billboard’s Women in Music event is perhaps the most touching of all: an emotional tribute to her friend, the late music producer SOPHIE.

References to classic club tracks are abundant and diverse, as Charli draws from Europop and 1970s and ‘80s disco, along with more unexpected cuts like classical strings and piano. Every song presents a new twist, impressive but not surprising for an artist who, now on her sixth album, has continuously reinvented herself and her sound with each new project.

Stream Charli XCX’S BRAT everywhere now.

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