True Romance - Charli XCX

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Apr 15, 2013
    Since quite a few of these songs were already road-tested, it's not surprising that this is a strong debut, but just how consistently catchy and personal True Romance is might raise a few eyebrows.
  2. Apr 17, 2013
    She’s the fun pop you don’t have to be embarrassed about listening to, and she’s definitely worth focusing your attention.
  3. Apr 25, 2013
    Like 90s pop stars turned 10s pop sophisticates Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé, Charli XCX stamps her personality across the entire project, and True Romance suggests she'll be worth following for a while.
  4. Apr 16, 2013
    True Romance is the pop-album equivalent of a wicked Tumblr.
  5. 60
    At the moment, her music is best consumed in blog-sized chunks, not as a stodgy 48-minute album.
  6. Apr 16, 2013
    For the most part, it's a breathless ride that gyrates to atomic hip-hop beats and darting synth lines, polished off with XCX's rough-riding narratives.
  7. Apr 11, 2013
    There’s much to enjoy on True Romance, although it’s probably best sampled in small doses as it doesn’t hang together that successfully over the course of an album.
  8. Apr 18, 2013
    Early exploits including a ridiculous rhyme about T-Rex amorousness ("Dinosaur Sex"), jabs at vapid art-school scenesters ("Art Bitch" and "!Franchesckaar!"), and some indecipherable indie-dance vocoding ("I Wanna Be Darth Vader"). True Romance is a strident departure from those frivolities so far as solid, true-to-aim songwriting is concerned, but the divergence and a touch of the silliness remains.
  9. Apr 11, 2013
    While there's still the odd remnant of Marina-lite pop, this sounds like an imminent star steadily staking a claim to her own turf.
  10. 60
    For now, True Romance is a valiant attempt that doesn’t do much more than provide the soundtrack for “getting ready to go out” songs on tinny laptop speakers.
  11. Jul 17, 2013
    There isn’t a moment when Charli XCX doesn’t display the kind of wild, brash confidence that other artists take years to arrive at.
  12. Apr 12, 2013
    While a few slivers of genuine spontaneity can be found throughout True Romance, particularly in the watery K-pop-esque opus "Nuclear Seasons," the sum as a whole feels rather forced.
  13. Apr 15, 2013
    Minor quibbles aside (Set Me Free is a little over-wrought and clichéd), True Romance is a simply stunning record.
  14. Apr 11, 2013
    She has the ability to carve out some gorgeous pop songs, but seems to be trying to cover too many bases.
  15. 85
    Is it worth the time, passion and investment of the listener? To those unfamiliar with XCX, or who only know her in passing, the answer is irrevocably yes; for others, it depends upon the value they place on a well-crafted retrospective.
  16. Apr 17, 2013
    Charli XCX isn’t smashing any glass ceilings in pop; she’s perfectly roughing up the edges of a long-standing mold.
  17. Apr 16, 2013
    Love, lust and longing are chronicled and dissected in True Romance through online relationships being gradually given tangible, tactile form, setting Charli up as a young pop star to be reckoned with.
  18. 67
    True Romance may not match Aitchison’s high ambitions for her debut, but it’s a hell of a start.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 72 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. May 12, 2013
    Charli XCX is one of the best people ever. Her music is very amazing. I didn't know what to expect and wasn't sure if it was going to be good, but it was AMAZING. This is really her type of music. I can't think of any other type of music that she could sing except for this. It's really amazing. I adore You (Ha Ha Ha). I hope she makes more music because she is amazing! Full Review »
  2. Apr 17, 2013
    A lot of hype, for me, going into this...

    I've been waiting well over a year now for this album, and I was sure that there was no way it
    was going to live up to the hype that I had built up for it in myself.

    Am I disappointed that I already knew 5 songs on it? Maybe a little bit, but it would have only mattered if the other 8 songs weren't worthwhile, but they WERE.

    She's a wonderful mixture of the persona of Ke$ha, the lyrics of Lily Allen and the music of Purity Ring. I really couldn't ask for more.

    Of the songs we already had, "Nuclear Seasons" is certainly her best song. It may still be the best thing she's ever done, but wow, "Lock You Up" is a killer little 80s number. I can't say no to that. Other tracks worth note: "You (Ha Ha Ha), "Stay Away", What I Like, and "You're the One"

    In short, it's going to take a lot for her to ever do anything wrong in my eyes, every single thing she's released (officially...the mix tapes are another story) has been at least a 7 or higher for me (on a 10 point scale). In total, the album is certainly an easy 4.5

    Proud of her, it's great to see others enjoying her music as well. You follow an artist who hasn't released anything yet, and you have to get a little nervous, wondering how other people are going to feel as well, with little to see reactions in the meanwhile (certainly not saying I'm the only one who was aware of her before now, not at all). So, this is a great day in music for me!
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 28, 2014
    Okay. This is what I call an album. The songs are amazing, I love all of them, especially Take My Hand, Nuclear Seasons and Cloud Aura. I will play Take My Hand on my wedding, for sure. Full Review »