Charli XCX Admits Her Last Album Was Full of ‘Vanilla’ Songs She ‘Would Never Listen To’

Charli XCX Says Last Album Had Vanilla Songs
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After releasing an album full of music she wouldn’t listen to, Charli XCX is over playing it safe.

"I kinda miss the time when pop music was really volatile and crazy,” Charli, 31, told The Face in an interview published Monday, February 19. “I miss the Paris Hilton days. Everybody is so worried about everything right now, how they’re perceived if this art they’ve created is going to offend anyone. It limits creative output to think like that. I’m also just into this idea of lying all the time. Being really truthful, but also lying. F—k it!”

Charli is also being honest about her last album, 2022’s Crash. Her fifth album was Charli’s attempt to make a commercially viable record, per The Face. While it was a moderate success both commercially and critically, she doesn’t want to put out any more “vanilla palatable flatness” into the pop world.

“There were songs on Crash that I would never listen to,” she says, citing her song “Yuck” as an example. “I needed to switch after Crash — I wasn’t born to do radio liners,” she said. “That’s not who I am at all.”

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Charli explained what will be on her next album (its working title is XCX6). There will be “irresistible club-pop made by a dyed-in-the-wool party girl,” with music so “brazen” that it will demolish Crash. “[I’m] over this idea of metaphor and beauty in art — I just want directness from me,” she told The Face. “I want things to feel quick and fast and dirty.”

The next album will be Charli’s “most aggressive and confrontational” record, adding that she’s prepared for people to “think I’m a bitch, but I’m not that.” The Face also notes that XCX6 will have a song about a strained relationship she has with an unnamed female artist, which will likely cause a reaction online.

On top of that, XCX6 will also explore society’s “fascination with mean girls” and why “succubus-looking, dead-eyed women” like herself are coded as mean.

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“I get tired of behaving in a way that people expect me, or expect pop stars, to behave. I’m not a role model — and I never did this because I wanted to be,” she said, adding that she understands that it “comes with the territory” of being famous. Instead, Charli aims to be a role model for “a very flawed, genuinely real, non-perfect person.”

Charli’s next album will also explore her grief over SOPHIE, the Scottish music producer who died after an accidental fall in January 2021. Charli dedicated Crash to SOPHIE and told The Face that though the late hyperpop pioneer “believed in me in ways that I didn’t believe [in] myself,” she felt distant from SOPHIE “because I was in awe of her and wanted to impress her.”

“I didn’t feel like I was magical enough for this unbelievably magic person,” she said. “And that makes me ashamed now I don’t have the opportunity to experience that anymore because she’s gone.”