On the Record


By Charli XCX

Charli XCX has been one of pop music’s leading innovators for over a decade now, and the English singer shows no signs of slowing down on her sixth studio album titled Brat.

The album’s pop sound blends influences from her youthful rave music days and her recent ventures into experimental sounds. It interestingly juxtaposes a bold, assertive demeanour against sincerely tender and vulnerable moments.

On the opener, 360, the perfectly pitched synth bass jumpstarts the album with a driving melody that has Charli at her jubilant and braggadocious best. The intense and vivid energy on the follow up, Club classics, is infectious and the sentiment is further boosted with Charli’s straightforward lyrics and recurrent refrain on the chorus. The piercing synth drum beat on the excellent Sympathy is a knife highlights Charli dealing with feelings of spiralling over an acquaintance who taps her insecurities.

On I might say something stupid, she reveals her feelings of uncertainty in the music industry over soft piano chords but returns to her cheeky and bratty best on Von Dutch as she sings, “It’s okay to just admit that you’re jealous of me,” to whomever it may concern.


Why Lawd?
By NxWorries

Under the banner NxWorries the duo, Anderson .Paak and producer Knxwledge, coalesce forces once again for their latest studio album, Why Lawd?, a follow up to their 2016 debut, Yes Lawd!

Heartache, regret and hopefulness take centre stage as the overarching theme for the project, since it deals with Anderson’s separation from his wife of 13 years.

The album opens with Dave Chappelle narrating reflective anecdotes on ThankU. Which then, ever so smoothly, transitions into one of the best tracks on the album with 86Sentra. Anderson flows confidently but composed over a thumping 90s’ G-funk beat that’s guaranteed to get your head-nodding.

Another tight transition into MoveOn keeps the ball rolling satisfyingly. The inimitable Thundercat guests on KeepHer, while Anderson is clearly in his feels (reminiscent, regretful and quick to pass the blame) on this one and the next track, Distractions.

Where I Go (feat H.E.R) is another clear highpoint with both artists offering excellent vocal performances. Anderson shows up pensive, reflective and accepting of his faults.

Regardless, throughout the project Knxwledge keeps conjuring a heady mix of soulful harmonies over laid-back hip-hop beats and old funk samples that provide the perfect backdrop to Anderson’s intimate confessions.