New in Music: “Number 1 Angel” by Charli XCX

Jon Daniel Manarang, Staff Writer

Pop songstress Charli XCX has a penchant for saccharine sweet tracks, as evidenced by 2014’s “Sucker.” On her mixtape, “Number 1 Angel” the singer delves into the sound from the “Vroom Vroom EP.” Charli XCX takes control of the reigns, working with A.G. Cook of PC Music. Collaborators are relegated to features and production with fellow singer MØ on “3 AM (Pull Up),” with rappers like CupcakKe.

The mixtape is accessible lyrically, covering material from subjects like love, lust, drugs and excess. On the track “Emotional” she gives a glimpse of her opening up romantically. The cheeky “eh-eh-X C X” at the beginning of each track becomes a catchphrase to further solidify the persona as a pop star dabbling in the rap world.

Charli XCX steers back in the direction on her first major record “True Romance,” but trades the aesthetically crafted sound to go lowest common denominator, trap influenced pop. Where lush textures and samples underscored powerful vocals, she takes the auto-tune route, sounding as lackadaisical as ever.

With “Number 1 Angel,” Charli XCX takes her place as one of pop’s most lucrative songwriters, finding a niche within an ever-changing landscape. Where she adopted a nonchalant persona with her previous records, this mixtape gives a new depth to Charli XCX as a shapeshifter, armed with massive choruses and infectious hooks for days.