True Romance - Charli XCX
True Romance Image
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 62 Ratings

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  • Summary: The debut studio release for the British pop singer includes some tracks from her two previous mixtapes "Heartbreaks and Earthquakes" and "Super Ultra."
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Apr 15, 2013
    90
    Minor quibbles aside (Set Me Free is a little over-wrought and clichéd), True Romance is a simply stunning record.
  2. Apr 25, 2013
    83
    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.
  3. Apr 17, 2013
    80
    Charli XCX isn’t smashing any glass ceilings in pop; she’s perfectly roughing up the edges of a long-standing mold.
  4. Apr 16, 2013
    70
    True Romance is the pop-album equivalent of a wicked Tumblr.
  5. Apr 17, 2013
    70
    She’s the fun pop you don’t have to be embarrassed about listening to, and she’s definitely worth focusing your attention.
  6. 67
    True Romance may not match Aitchison’s high ambitions for her debut, but it’s a hell of a start.
  7. Apr 12, 2013
    50
    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.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. May 12, 2013
    10
    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! Expand
  2. Aug 30, 2013
    9
    First off, I never heard of Charli XCX, I saw that she was releasing a album on iTunes and I was curious to see what the young woman could give me. Now some people may know who XCX is as she has been doing mix tapes and EP's ever since her late teens, now in her early twenties, she is now ready to show off her talent to the mainstream. And I'm happy to report that at first you'll feel guilty, "True Romance" offers many great songs for the rest of the year with unique synth beats and amazing production making XCX's debut one of the best I've heard this year. The songwriting is excellent with Relatable lyrics about the youth, love, and the problems we face. It also helps thanks to XCX's vocals which she perfectly hits the tone the album is going for as it sounds dream like while also sound real enough. The best thing about "True Romance" is that it makes Synth pop sound cool again by not making it so mainstream. XCX use's beats, sounds, and Rhythms that sound like Pop back in the Late '80s or early '90s. It's also tightly paced and for some listeners you may get sucked into the world that XCX has created here. There are very few problems, but If I had to say some, I would have to say that it gets a little repetitive towards the end with all the sounds being heard many times you might get bored as the album's style isn't always consistent. Also like I said at the beginning not too many people will be drawn into "True Romance" as personally it isn't meant for my demographic, but I'm glad i was curious to listen to this. Charli XCX has a great future ahead of her with "True Romance" being her debut album, with Great Vocals, Interesting Social Messages, and just amazing music. To speak to all the people out there, this is a pop album you'll actually enjoy. Expand
  3. Apr 17, 2013
    9
    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!
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  4. Jul 18, 2014
    8
    Charli XCX eventually received mainstream audience's attention with her collaborations on Swedish electro queens Icona Pop's 2012 sleeper hit "I Love It" and Australian rapper Iggy Azalea's currently inescapable, 7-week number-one "Fancy". But the Brit diva's 2013 debut studio album True Romance -- it's technically her second studio album, considering her 2008 one never saw an official release -- has to be the destination to visit if anybody's ever curious as to what she's capable of.

    The deliciously dark Eurythmics inspired opener "Nuclear Seasons", which includes haunting vocal layers later found on "Grins", already allows the listener to take off their chains held down by expectations of any electropop album sang by somebody so unapologetically youthful as Charlie XCX and explore the album on their own terms. The combination of Myspace era emo, sappy songwriting ("Why you gotta go to sleep/Don't go to sleep/Let's go out"), and indietronica with a touch of darkwave and witch house might mislead skeptics into believing it's all about fun, games, and love, and guess what? It is. But it's the kind of self-conscious silliness that mainstream pop should be about. The sincerity in her sassy, party girl attitude certainly combats that of Kesha and her Dr. Luke produced safety sass.
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  5. May 12, 2014
    7
    A fun debut album from Charli XCX that features some amazing bangers but unfortunately seems to have been stuck in release date limbo a bit too long and rather than being cutting edge comes across slightly dated. Expand
  6. Nov 27, 2013
    7
    This is a very good album, from its amazing imagery provoking lyrics and electronic drums to its catchy and memorable yet unique melodies. However while some of the tracks are quite boring, the ones that are good are so good you will not forget them. Expand
  7. Apr 23, 2013
    5
    Didn't know quite what to expect from this album and was pleasantly surprised. There's quite a mixture of different types of electronica. From the kooky Nuclear Seasons and Set Me Free to the laid back What I Like and the 80's influenced Lock You Up, there's something here for every type of electronic fan. Charli has a lot of talent and control over her work for one so young, she just needs to push it that bit further. Expand

See all 9 User Reviews