Free Music Download: Charli XCX "Number 1 Angel Mixtape"
Thu, 16 Mar 2017 11:10:15
Charli XCX Videos
At the start of last week, Charli XCX announced that, by the weekend, she would be dropping a "massive, bombastic mixtape". She wasn't exaggerating, Number 1 Angel, boasts the kind of cohesion and track-sequencing that you'd typically expect on a full length studio album. Ahead of the release she shared three tracks, "3 AM (Pull Up)," "Dreamer", and "Lipgloss" on MistaJam's BBC Radio1 show, which lit a spark beneath critics and fans — all pedalling faster toward the Friday drop date.
For those waiting it feels like an age since Charli XCX's latest album, 2014's Sucker, was released. Yes, there has been an EP, Vroom, but nothing of length that the fans could really sink their teeth into. Last Friday, the release of the mixtape truly secured the singer as the independent voice in pop that she's been tagged to be since those early girl-power inspired cuts.
Giving these tunes away, with a promise of the new album 'coming soon', displays the same kind of confidence that Charli demands from her fan base — the sense of "Just do it — just work, just create, just cut your own path." Not only does this display a work ethic, it shares an insight into the kind of quality that the artist works in. The decision to release 'free music' was one that wasn't taken lightly, and nor was it easy for the singer — who passed expletive peppered comment on just how difficult it was to get clearance on the mix.
While Sucker was brash and poppy and, at times, utterly saturated with sugar, Number 1 Angel adds elements of a more mature stance. Always a clubber, but toying with the challenges of growing up, Charli is now focused on more adult themes. Sugar remains, and will most likely always remain in the pop palette deployed by the artist — but there's a boozy breath to many more of these tunes.
"Roll With Me" is the biggest banger in the mix — it references last year's collaborative EP. It's on "Drugs" though, that Charli works with Atlanta-based Abra, who turns dark R&B into something more soulful, something more readily available; bringing that level of maturity that seems to prop up so much of the singer's work here. If you're wondering, 'Is this free download worth my bandwidth?' the answer is — "Head to the download link — check out "Drugs" and if you're not feeling it, you most likely should wait a week for another free treat." The rest of us agree — this is where they keep the good stuff.
With this mixtape now out of the bag, and with everyone buzzing hard… it really would make sense for Charli XCX to drop a one-two blow and take the fans over the edge, right?
—The ARTISTdirect Staff