It has been a month since Charli XCX gifted us her third studio album “Charli.” I have regularly been diving in and out listening to the offering, and this weekend I actually played through the release from start to finish. (As I was reminded by some new research specially commissioned for National Album Day – October 12th, 2019, found, millions of stressed Britons are turning to their music collections to help them de-stress.) I still stan hard for Charli’s “True Romance” debut first and foremost but, “Charli,” does come in close as my second favourite overall. As we’ve come to know the latest album is littered with collaborations at its heart, “Gone” with Christine and the Queens, and “Blame It On Your Love” featuring Lizzo being just two stunning examples. In terms of the recent promotion, the collaborations have been given high priority status. That when we encounter, a solo effort from the singer, it becomes that bit more special. The latest focus of the album falls to the track “White Mercedes,” it is pure Charli, unabashed and unaccompanied by any of her ultra-cool, pop star friends.
It is on the solo tracks where we can best, feel vulnerability pouring out of the lyrics like never before. Charli first appeared on our radar when she was fifteen and has pretty much grown up under the music spotlight, ever since. This personal growth has marked a change in her songcraft as well but noted more on “Charli” where she covers a newer open style with her lyrics.
On the track “White Mercedes” we see her being unflinchingly sincere. Honest and emotionally, exposed. She sings about not being worthy of the love she is receiving from someone special in her life. Affirming that she is still the anti-pop queen we were originally bowled over by in 2008. The chorus of the track feels as though it came right of Kim Petras songbook, so much so that I had to take a look at the song credits, but Kim’s name is not mentioned there. The video is keeping up the trend of being quite a spectacle. Where in between, writhing around a white Mercedes which races around a cornfield, pop queen Charli flashes us a glimpse of her white Powerbeats, airpods.
For dramatic effect, as the footage reaches its climax, the car is winched into the air and set alight. These actions almost got the singer in a spot of hot water with environmentalists. An article posted on TIME sets the record straight on the environmental impact made in the making of this video. Consequently, because of the feature run by the esteemed publication. It is unlikely Charli will get a phone call from Greta Thunberg anytime soon.