True Romance (Charli XCX album)
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''True Romance'' is the debut studio album by English singer
Charli XCX Charlotte Emma Aitchison (born 2 August 1992), known professionally as Charli XCX, is an English singer and songwriter. Born in Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a College town, university city and the county town of Cambridgeshire, England, on the ...

Charli XCX
. It was released on 12 April 2013 by and
Atlantic Records Atlantic Recording Corporation (simply known as Atlantic Records) is an American founded in October 1947 by and . Over its first 20 years of operation, Atlantic earned a reputation as one of the most important American labels, specializing i ...
. Originally scheduled for release in April 2012, the album's release was delayed for a full year and had been in the making since early 2010 when Charli met with producer
Ariel Rechtshaid Ariel Rechtshaid (born March 23, 1979) is an American record producer A record producer is a recording project's creative and technical leader, commanding studio time and coaching artists, and in popular genres typically creates the song's very ...
in Los Angeles. To promote the album's release, Charli embarked on a three-date UK promotional tour in April 2013.


Background and release

" You're the One" has been compared to
Siouxsie and the Banshees Siouxsie and the Banshees were a British Rock music, rock band, formed in London in 1976 by vocalist Siouxsie Sioux and bass guitarist Steven Severin. They have been widely influential, both over their contemporaries and with later acts. ''Q (ma ...
' 1991 song " Kiss Them for Me" and Charli agreed: "At the time, I was listening to a lot of dark pop, so I was inspired by a lot of the deep bass sounds. Sure, Siouxsie is there, too. We just kind of rolled with it." Charli explained the meaning behind the album's title: "Every corner of my own romantic history is explored on this record, so for me, it's very raw, it's very honest, and it's very true." The majority of the album's tracks were previously released on the ''You're the One'' EP, and through the ''Heartbreaks and Earthquakes'' and ''Super Ultra'' mixtapes. The album is named after the
Quentin Tarantino Quentin Jerome Tarantino (; born March 27, 1963) is an American filmmaker, film director, screenwriter, producer, film critic, and actor. His films are characterized by nonlinear narrative, nonlinear storylines, dark humor, stylized violence in ...

Quentin Tarantino
-written , which is sampled on "Velvet Dreaming" from the ''Super Ultra'' mixtape. On 9 April 2013, the standard edition of album became available to stream on ''
Pitchfork Pitching hay A pitchfork is an agricultural tool with a long handle and two to five Tine (structural), tines used to lift and pitch or throw loose material, such as hay, straw or leaves. The term is also applied colloquially, but inaccurately, t ...
'' in full.


Critical reception

''True Romance'' received generally positive reviews from music critics. At
Metacritic Metacritic is a website that aggregates reviews of films, TV shows, music albums, video games and formerly, books. For each product, the scores from each review are averaged (a weighted average). Metacritic was created by Jason Dietz, Marc Doy ...

Metacritic
, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an
average In colloquial, ordinary language, an average is a single number taken as representative of a list of numbers, usually the sum of the numbers divided by how many numbers are in the list (the arithmetic mean). For example, the average of the numbers 2 ...
score of 76, based on 18 reviews. ''
Pitchfork Pitching hay A pitchfork is an agricultural tool with a long handle and two to five Tine (structural), tines used to lift and pitch or throw loose material, such as hay, straw or leaves. The term is also applied colloquially, but inaccurately, t ...
''s Marc Hogan wrote that Charli "pull from moody 80s synth-pop, sassy turn-of-the-millennium girl groups, and state-of-the-art contemporary producers to create something distinctive and immediately memorable", concluding that she "stamps her personality across the entire project, and ''True Romance'' suggests she'll be worth following for a while." Rebecca Nicholson of ''
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The Guardian
'' found the album to be "surprisingly oddball and packed with production quirks that often resemble a smoothed-off Grimes", adding that "while there's still the odd remnant of ]-lite pop, this sounds like an imminent star steadily staking a claim to her own turf." Heather Phares of AllMusic noted that Charli "has a flair for combining a wide array of pop culture sources into something fresh and familiar, as well as a fondness for strong female characters." Phares continued, "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." ''
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''s Puja Patel viewed ''True Romance'' as "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: Goth, she is not. Dramatic? A bit. Complicated? Like every budding pop starlet. Defiant? Absolutely." Despite stating that the album "is confusing at times and will most definitely require multiple listens", Enio Chiola of ''
PopMatters ''PopMatters'' is an international online magazine An online magazine is a magazine published on the Internet, through bulletin board systems and other forms of public computer networks. One of the first magazines to convert from a print magazi ...
'' opined that Charli is "the fun pop you don't have to be embarrassed about listening to, and she's definitely worth focusing your attention. ''True Romance'' is certainly the true beginning of an illustrious career." Lauren Martin of ''
Fact A fact is something that is true True most commonly refers to truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality.Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionarytruth 2005 In everyday language, truth is typically ascribed to things ...
'' commented, "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." ''
Rolling Stone ''Rolling Stone'' is an American monthly magazine that focuses on music, politics, and popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California, in 1967 by Jann Wenner, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its c ...
'' critic
Will Hermes Will Hermes (born December 27, 1960 in Jamaica, Queens Jamaica is a middle-class neighborhood in the New York City Borough (New York City), borough of Queens. It is mainly composed of a large commercial and retail area, though part of the neig ...
described ''True Romance'' as "the pop-album equivalent of a wicked
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". In a mixed review, Nick Levine of ''
NME ''New Musical Express'' (''NME'') is a British music, film and culture website and brand. Founded as a newspaper in 1952, with the publication being referred to as a 'rock inkie', the NME would become a magazine that ended up as a free public ...
'' felt that although the album "begins strongly" with "Nuclear Seasons" and "You (Ha Ha Ha)", the songs eventually "become samey and Charli ..shoves some kind of speak-rap into almost every track", concluding, "At the moment, her music is best consumed in blog-sized chunks, not as a stodgy 48-minute album." Similarly, John Murphy of ''
musicOMH ''musicOMH'' is a London-based online magazine, online music magazine which publishes independent reviews, features and interviews from across all genres including classical music, classical, heavy metal music, metal, rock music, rock and Contempo ...
'' expressed that " ere'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." Paula Mejia of ''
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'' dismissed the album as "a valiant attempt that doesn't do much more than provide the soundtrack for 'getting ready to go out' songs on tinny laptop speakers." ''
Slant Magazine ''Slant Magazine'' is an American online publication that features reviews of movies, music, TV, DVDs, theater, and video games, as well as interviews with actors, directors, and musicians. The site covers various film festivals like the New York ...
''s Kevin Liedel criticised the album as "a little too slickly produced and self-aware to deliver the kind of spontaneous creativity or carefree chic that Charli XCX aims for", while dubbing its music "almost incidental, a postscript to the larger brand, confirming that whoever 'Charli XCX' actually is, she's more product than artist."


Commercial performance

''True Romance'' debuted at number 85 on the
UK Albums Chart The Official Albums Chart is a list of albums ranked by physical and digital sales and (from March 2015) audio streaming in the United Kingdom. It was published for the first time on 22 July 1956 and is compiled every week by the Official Charts Co ...
, selling 1,241 copies in its first week. By February 2015, the album had sold 6,302 copies in the United Kingdom. In the United States, it entered the
Heatseekers AlbumsTop Heatseekers are "Breaking and Entering" music charts issued weekly by ''Billboard'' magazine. The Heatseekers Albums and the Heatseekers Songs charts were introduced by ''Billboard'' in 1991 with the purpose of highlighting the sales by new and ...
chart at number five, and fell to number 22 the following week. The album had sold 12,000 copies in the US as of May 2014. ''True Romance'' debuted and peaked at number 11 on the ARIA Hitseekers chart in Australia.


Track listing

Notes * signifies a vocal producer * signifies an additional producer * On the digital edition of the album, "Set Me Free" is titled "Set Me Free (Feel My Pain)". Sample credits * "You (Ha Ha Ha)" samples "You" by
Gold Panda Derwin Schlecker (born 1980) better known by his stage name Gold Panda, is a British electronic record producer, performer, and composer. He was born in Peckham Peckham () is a district of south London, England, within the London Borough of So ...

Gold Panda
. * "So Far Away" samples " A Dream Goes On Forever" and "An Elpee's Worth of Toons" by
Todd Rundgren Todd Harry Rundgren (born June 22, 1948) is an American multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and record producer who has performed a diverse range of styles as a solo artist and as a member of the band Utopia. He is known for his sophisti ...

Todd Rundgren
.


Personnel

Credits adapted from the liner notes of ''True Romance''.


Musicians

*
Charli XCX Charlotte Emma Aitchison (born 2 August 1992), known professionally as Charli XCX, is an English singer and songwriter. Born in Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a College town, university city and the county town of Cambridgeshire, England, on the ...

Charli XCX
– vocals * Tom Boddy – additional programming ; album remixes * Andrew Wilkinson – additional programming *
Dimitri TikovoiDimitri may refer to: People * Dmitry, a male given name, Slavic version of Greek name Demetrios * Dimitri (clown) (1935–2016), Swiss clown and mime * Dimitri from Paris, French DJ * Dimitri Flowers (born 1996), American football player * Dimitri ...
– programming * Louise Burns – additional vocals * Brooke Candy – vocals * Hal Ritson – additional keyboards, programming * Richard Adlam – additional keyboards, programming * Miriam Stockley – additional backing vocals


Technical

*
Ariel Rechtshaid Ariel Rechtshaid (born March 23, 1979) is an American record producer A record producer is a recording project's creative and technical leader, commanding studio time and coaching artists, and in popular genres typically creates the song's very ...
– production ; additional production * Rich Costey – mixing * Chris Kasych – mixing assistance, Pro Tools engineering * Joakim Åhlund, Jocke Åhlund – production * Mark "Spike" Stent – vocal production ; mixing * Matty Green – mixing assistance * David Emery – mixing assistance * Dimitri Tikovoi – production * BloodPop, Blood Diamonds – production * Dan Aslet – vocal production ; mixing * Neil Comber – mixing * Paul White (record producer), Paul White – production * J£zus Million – production ; mixing * Patrik Berger – production * Dave Bascombe – mixing * Stuart Hawkes – mastering * Jeremy Cooper – editing


Artwork

* Andy Hayes – design * Dan Curwin – photography


Charts


Release history


References


External links

* {{Authority control 2013 debut albums Albums produced by Ariel Rechtshaid Albums produced by Dimitri Tikovoi Asylum Records albums Atlantic Records albums Charli XCX albums Albums produced by Joakim Åhlund Synth-pop albums by English artists Dark wave albums