Charli XCX made it official via a Zoom call with fans that she would be dropping her fourth album as soon as possible. Thirty-nine days after the announcement, her latest project, how i’m feeling now, was available after recording each track from the comfort of her home due to the coronavirus. Unlike most albums that are dwelled on and reanalyzed before their release, this one wasn’t, and it shows.
There is no doubt that Charli XCX has many iconic bangers, such as “I love It,” “Boom Clap,” “Boys,” ”1999,” “After the Afterparty” and “Break the Rules.” However, it doesn’t seem as if any of the tracks from her fourth album will be joining the list.
Though Charli XCX has admitted to the album being her most vulnerable and raw piece yet — hence the title — it is seemingly ungenuine with jam packed, distracting back beats and an unusual amount of autotune. For instance, the first track on the album, “pink diamond,” is violent and all over the place. It is nearly impossible to catch the vibe of the song or even what it’s about. Charli XCX told Apple Music that she “wanted it as the first track because (she’s) into the idea that some people will love it and some people will hate it,” and, frankly, we hate it.
Conversely, the following tracks have substance at least behind the angsty composition, yet they are far from convincing. Most of Charli XCX’s inspiration has come from her and her boyfriend’s relationship and their growth as a couple during quarantine. The problem is, none of the tracks come across as love songs.
The only track that is bearable is “anthems” because the meaning of the song genuinely matches the beat. The song is about wanting to go out, having fun and making memories, which is represented through the arrangement — unlike the other more “romantic” songs, although they don’t necessarily possess an affectionate tone.
Aside from “anthems,” “visions” is also adequate in the sense that it is a favorable rave song. Both of these tracks are useful for partying and dancing but not ones that one would want to play while taking a drive, and justly, the others aren’t either, unless you enjoy listening to what sounds like shrieking.
Ultimately, the only aspect of the album that is worth praising is Charli XCX’s ability to sing about her real life experiences while opening up about her relationship and simultaneously enjoying experimenting with songwriting. Still, the actual tracks themselves, with no real depth or range within her voice, are nothing near musical masterpieces. Unfortunately, maybe Charli XCX should reconsider producing an album in 39 days if the situation presents itself again.