Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Charli XCX among other things

I was having dinner with a friend from high school who's been staying with her boyfriend and his roommates, and she was like, "I've noticed you've been listening to a lot of Charli XCX. My boyfriend's roommates love Charli XCX and I just don't understand!" Of course, as a result, her boyfriend and his roommates have ascended in my mind from mere people-I-don't-know to people-I-don't-know-but-respect. I spent a portion of time explaining to her the appeal of Charli XCX, although it turns out my reasons for loving her are much less intellectual than her boyfriend's roommates'. They love Charli because her music production is beyond good, because she's the queen of hyper pop... etcetera etcetera... you know, stuff that arty people would say. My explanation for loving Charli is that she is simply a bad bitch, but sad; she makes interesting noises that nobody else does, which was exactly what I needed in the throes of lockdown boredom. She was there for me.

Anyway, as per usual we also discussed starting a podcast, which is something every single one of my incredibly interesting and intelligent girl friends will bring up on any given day, and this time I was like yeah, I literally feel motivated to buy a microphone and recording equipment and start dishing out my opinions right! now! However, why would I do that when I have a perfectly established blog that I never update and nobody reads? I've also been meaning to write in my diary for like days now. The opening of the entry was going to be "Hiii just thought I'd check in" but I haven't had any damn time and honestly can't be assed. Instead I'm here.

*It looks like this is going to be a self-aware stream of writing. My incredibly scientific thesis also seems to have been written as a self-aware stream of consciousness, but I'm not going to lie, it kind of works.*

Now, back to my seemingly throwaway claim that Charli XCX is a bad bitch, but sad: Charli XCX is not one of those celebrities in the media who we can hyper-analyse like Kim Kardashian, nor is she a literal lyricist like Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo or Lorde (Lorde is questionable. We're still unsure if Melodrama was about Jack Antonoff), but I am going to attempt to make conclusions about her character through her music anyway. 

The first thing I think we've all noticed is that Charli is kind of a bad girl. Well, not bad per se, but adventurous, chaotic, inherently restless. Take Break The Rules for example, or No Angel. She literally opens with the lyrics "Always been a little fast and wild / and mama always said I was a problem child." Then there's 5 in the Morning where she basically sings about partying until 5am while some dude tries to keep up (but probably can't lol). In fact, take a look at her music in general. Every album gives us a different sound, not only compared to each other but also compared to like everyone else in the music industry. 

So yeah, she's a creative baddie. We get it. But alas, with every restless girl comes a little bit of self hate.

You know how there's that dumb Instagram trend going around where everyone's posting the urban dictionary definition of their name? Well, my group chat decided to send our definitions there, and of course everybody got favourable definitions - hot, smart, kind, cute, the best friend, so lucky to call them yours etc. Meanwhile, I got "will perpetually try to ruin her own life," which everyone found fitting in a funny way. Normally I'd find something like that funny too.

Honestly, Charli would probably find something like that funny. I mean, she wrote a song called Vroom Vroom, which is literally about driving a fast car so "these sluts no they can't catch me VROOM VROOM"; and Porsche, which is about dreaming about a Porsche; and that song with 100gecs where she's like "my boy's got his own ringtone" for the whole song. Clearly she's a silly girl.

However, this time round I was super triggered. I was like ohhhmygod am I always ruining my own life??? You see, most people in this world, they try their best. By a person who tries their best I mean someone who pats dogs for their mental wellbeing, and someone who genuinely tries to talk to people about the things they like and the things they're studying and the things they're proud of, and someone who receives nice urban dictionary definitions and all their friends are like awwww that fits you so well, and someone who says what they mean, basically. I, unfortunately, have come to the realisation that I have never been this person. I seem to veer towards the tumultuous route, the one that I think is funny and emotionally stimulating, but overall like three thousand times more difficult than if I just, I don't know, tried my best at life.

Charli, I feel, is the same. Not all her songs are silly even though she likes to give us ironic silly skinny hot girl vibes. Even some of the silly ones have a bit of a serious undertone. Take Porsche for example. She definitely says that she's been dreaming of a Porsche to get some guy out of her head. I listen to one of my all time favourites White Mercedes, where she sings "I hate the silence / that's why the music's always loud"; and Gone where she's like lol I hate everyone here and being perceived. I'm leaving; and Track 10 which is the best song to dance to even though the only lyrics are her yelling "I BLAME IT ON YOUR LOVE / EVERY TIME I FUCK IT UP"; and there's that video I once watched where she says that she wishes she wrote i like america and america likes me by the 1975, and the only lyrics I remember from that song are "I'm scared of dying" and "being young in the city" amongst a dreamy electric backtrack.

Then there's her recent release Good Ones, where she basically sings about how she lets every good guy in her life go. This echos back to White Mercedes where the entire premise of the song is about how she's a white Mercedes, uncatchable, running too fast, not deserving of some guy. I didn't mean for this to be an analysis of Charli XCX's relationship with boys, but the girl clearly knows how to love. First of all there's Boys where we all feel the fun excitement of aha boys, but then there's Official where she sings in her hyper pop out of tune voice about all the best parts of being close to someone - the little things like being in the kitchen, or laying in bed late at night; and ILY2 where she's like wow it's so weird saying I love you, never thought about it. Side note but she also totally understands sex, or rather, being desired. Take White Roses, party 4 u and Emotional for example. 

Charli also writes a different kind of break up song. Take So Over You, where she screams "I'M SO OVER YOU / TELL ME BABY ARE YOU OVER ME" which is so effing cathartic; and Cross You Out where there's a heavy bass and she's all like lol when you're not around I cross you out and I'm sooo much better; and a whole lot of songs referencing tears - "century of tears / sadness was my only smile" and the song Tears which is literally about her tears - because understandably there's a lot of crying involved; but then she comes out with songs like Forever where she's like byeeeee let's never talk again but I'll remember you forever.

Anyway, sorry for this poorly written midnight spiel but my conclusion is that Charli XCX is a bad bitch, but sad, because her music is literally so funny and cathartic and different, yet also relatable in a chaotic emo girl way. Does that make sense?




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