Charli XCX ventures new roads in 'Vroom Vroom' EP

By Ashley Kim

Noted as the mastermind behind many global hits, Charli XCX is back in the industry, but this time, she’s in front of the scenes. The talented pop artist has proved to shine just as bright, if not brighter, in the spotlight with two successful pop albums already under her belt. 

Charli XCX holds onto this title as the gothic pop princess with her newly released EP, “Vroom Vroom.” Charli XCX teased her fans prior to the release with claims that this EP would be different, as it showcases her experimentation with pop. The UK artist changes up the typical sweet bubblegum pop and surprises with edgier, electronic elements. This four song compilation is also the debut release from her own record label, also titled, “Vroom Vroom.”

The main track, “Vroom Vroom” takes its title seriously, as it alludes listeners to taking a drive in a slick, black ride. It is armed with the accustomed automobile aspects such as beeps and honks, but is leveled with the accompaniment of Charli XCX’s high-toned, melodic voice. This juxtaposition creates a refreshing take on pop and ventures a bit into hip-hop elements with its darker side.

Things cool down a bit in “Paradise” completed with more familiar aspects of sugary pop. It’s amplified to a high-pitched tone with snippets of what appears to be “Alvin and the Chipmunks”-inspired melodies. But don’t get too comfortable because the pace picks up as she layers harsher electronic sounds. “Paradise” can take some time getting used to with all of the unexpected swerves the track takes.

As a self-proclaimed feminist, Charli XCX expresses her beliefs in an empowering track, “Trophy.” The track outlines the rebellious nature that is so reminiscent of the artist’s style. Snippets of her lyrics include “Take the crown, shut it down ‘bout to steal the show; shooting star” and “all the girls ‘round the world, now we in control.” Nothing stays the same in this track with surprise drops as the song progresses, a pattern that seems to embody the whole EP.

Charli XCX reveals the more enticing side of pop in her last track. In spite of the seductive title, “Secret,” this track still intertwines more upbeat elements and sticks to a experimental electronica genre. However, she includes shushes throughout the track that match with her sweeter vocals.

An on-and-off switch between cute and sexy, “Vroom Vroom” reveals Charli XCX’s new take on pop and creates something unfamiliar yet seemingly addictive. Her experimentation is a concoction that isn’t overly sweet, nor distractingly harsh. Take a listen and be prepared for a trip that is anything but smooth.

Rating: 7/10