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Charli Xcx|CRASH

CRASH

Charli Xcx

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Reported to be her final album for Atlantic at the time of its release, Charli XCX embraces the idea of being a major-label pop artist to the fullest on Crash. For her, going mainstream is something of a daring move. Her previous album, 2020's Mercury Prize-longlisted how i'm feeling now, was one of her most experimental releases, its heartbroken hyperpop capturing the feeling of bouncing off the walls during the COVID-19 quarantine. That album (and her mixtapes) made a strong case for her more spontaneous releases being among her best, but the craft she applies to Crash isn't overdone. This is truly poptimist pop that consciously reframes the genre's past heyday as worthy of celebrating and updating. XCX grounds the album in the styles of the late '80s and early '90s and the late '90s and early 2000s -- eras when pop was highly produced but also highly creative. It's an aesthetic that suits Charli XCX well, especially on the bright, New Jack-jacking moves of "New Shapes," which features Caroline Polachek and Christine and the Queens, two other experts at giving a fresh context to vintage pop. On "Yuck," a charmingly disgusted rejection of lovey-dovey infatuation, XCX creates the perfect pastiche of late-'80s sounds, but she gets more literal on "Used to Know Me," which samples Robin S.'s 1993 earworm "Show Me Love"; on "Beg for You," a collaboration with Rina Sawayama, she folds in the massive hits "Cry for You" by September and "Don't Cry" by Milk Inc. Putting a boundary-pushing artist like Sawayama on one of Crash's most overtly retro songs feels like a missed opportunity, but "Beg for You"'s pulsing desperation is still a highlight that shows just how baked into pop's collective memory these decades-old songs still are. As she pays homage to pop music's past, XCX also borrows from her own. The way Crash takes inspiration from David Cronenberg's film of the same name echoes how she alluded to Quentin Tarantino's True Romance on her debut album, and the percolating death wish of the title track continues the car motif winding through her work since Icona Pop's "I Love It." The tweaked vocals on the slow-motion ballad "Move Me" recall the Charli highlight "Cross You Out," while "Good Ones" combines the self-defeating heartache that's been a key theme since her early days with the hooky songwriting that she's transformed into hits for others. Among all these revisitations of the past, Crash's concision feels new. On her other albums, XCX occasionally included so many songs that the great songs had to compete with the good ones for attention. At a sleek 33-minutes long, Crash lets songs like "Lightning" -- an unlikely but winning collision of freestyle beats, giddy orchestral synth stabs, and processed vocals -- claim the spotlight they deserve. It may not be quite as striking as how i'm feeling now, but on Crash, Charli XCX once again finds endless freedom in pop's constraints.
© Heather Phares /TiVo

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CRASH

Charli Xcx

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1
Crash
00:02:09

Stuart Hawkes, Masterer - Charli Xcx, Vocals, MainArtist - George Daniel, Composer, Producer, Drums, Additional Production, Synthesizer, Keyboards Programmer, Voice Editor, Bass Programmer - Charlotte Aitchison, Composer - Waylon Rector, Composer, Guitar - Geoff Swan, Mixer - Matt Cahill, Assistant Mixer - A.G. Cook, Producer, Engineer, Programmer, Synthesizer - Alexander Guy Cook, Composer - Niko Battistini, Assistant Mixer

An Asylum Records UK release, © 2022 Warner Music UK Limited An Asylum Records UK Release, ℗ 2021 Warner Records UK Limited.

2
New Shapes (feat. Christine and the Queens and Caroline Polachek) Explicit
00:03:20

Charli Xcx, Vocals, MainArtist - Caroline Polachek, Composer, Vocals, FeaturedArtist - Charlotte Aitchison, Composer - Noonie Bao, Composer - Linus Wiklund, Composer - Christine And The Queens, Vocals, FeaturedArtist - Héloïse Létissier, Composer - Geoff Swan, Mixer - Matt Cahill, Assistant Mixer - Randy Merrill, Masterer - Lotus IV, Producer, Keyboards, Programmer, Drum Programmer, Bass - Niko Battistini, Assistant Mixer - Deaton Chris Anthony, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, Programmer, Additional Vocals, Drum Programmer, Synthesizer Programmer, Bass

An Asylum Records UK release, © 2022 Warner Music UK Limited An Asylum Records UK Release, ℗ 2021 Warner Records UK Limited.

3
Good Ones
00:02:16

John Hanes, Engineer - Serban Ghenea, Mixer - Oscar Holter, Composer, Producer, Drums, Keyboards, Programmer, Bass - Charli Xcx, Vocals, MainArtist - Mattias Larsson, Composer - Robin Fredriksson, Composer - Charlotte Aitchison, Composer - Noonie Bao, Composer - Caroline Ailin, Composer, Backing Vocals - Randy Merrill, Masterer - Thomas Warren, Engineer - Lionel Crasta, VocalEngineer - Bryce Bordone, Assistant Mixer

An Asylum Records UK release, © 2022 Warner Music UK Limited An Asylum Records UK Release, ℗ 2021 Warner Music UK Limited

4
Constant Repeat
00:03:09

Stuart Hawkes, Masterer - Charli Xcx, Vocals, MainArtist - Charlotte Aitchison, Composer - Noonie Bao, Composer - Linus Wiklund, Composer - Geoff Swan, Mixer - Matt Cahill, Assistant Mixer - Lotus IV, Producer, Keyboards, Drum Programmer, Bass - Niko Battistini, Assistant Mixer

An Asylum Records UK release, © 2022 Warner Music UK Limited An Asylum Records UK Release, ℗ 2021 Warner Records UK Limited.

5
Beg For You (feat. Rina Sawayama)
00:02:48

Jonas von der Burg, Composer - Niklas von der Burg, Composer - Anoo Bhagavan, Composer - Kevin Grainger, Mixer - Rollo, Composer - Charli Xcx, Vocals, MainArtist - Charlotte Aitchison, Composer - Jonathan Gilmore, Vocal Production, VocalEngineer - Sorana, Composer, Additional Backing Vocals - Digital Farm Animals, Producer - Rina Sawayama, Composer, Vocals, FeaturedArtist - Randy Merrill, Masterer - Nicholas Gale, Composer - Ben Hogarth, VocalEngineer - Antonio Tucci Jr., Vocal Recording Engineer - Alexander Soifer, Composer, Vocal Production

An Asylum Records UK release, © 2022 Warner Music UK Limited An Asylum Records UK Release, ℗ 2022 Warner Records UK Limited.

6
Move Me
00:02:27

Jason Evigan, Composer, Drums, Additional Production, Bass, Synthesizer - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer - Ian Kirkpatrick, Composer, Producer, Programmer, Recorded by - Stuart Hawkes, Masterer - Chris Galland, MixingEngineer - Charli Xcx, Vocals, MainArtist - Charlotte Aitchison, Composer - Robin Florent, Assistant Mix Engineer - Scott Desmarais, Assistant Mix Engineer - Amy Allen, Composer - Jeremie Inhaber, Assistant Mixing Engineer

An Asylum Records UK release, © 2022 Warner Music UK Limited An Asylum Records UK Release, ℗ 2021 Warner Records UK Limited.

7
Baby Explicit
00:02:39

Stuart Hawkes, Masterer - Justin Raisen, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Guitar, Sound Effects (SFX) - Charli Xcx, Vocals, MainArtist - Charlotte Aitchison, Composer - Geoff Swan, Mixer - Ryan Gladieux, VocalEngineer - Jeremiah Raisen, Composer - Matt Cahill, Assistant Mixer - Niko Battistini, Assistant Mixer - Ainjel Emme, AssistantEngineer - Anthony Paul Lopez, Engineer - SADPONY, Producer, Engineer, Drum Programmer, Bass, Synthesizer

An Asylum Records UK release, © 2022 Warner Music UK Limited An Asylum Records UK Release, ℗ 2022 Warner Records UK Limited.

8
Lightning
00:03:57

Rami Yacoub, Composer, Vocal Recording Engineer - Stuart Hawkes, Masterer - Ariel Rechtshaid, Producer, Drum Programmer, Synthesizer, Nylon Strung Guitar - Ilya Salmanzadeh, Composer - Charli Xcx, Vocals, MainArtist - Charlotte Aitchison, Composer - Geoff Swan, Mixer - Matt Cahill, Assistant Mixer - Niko Battistini, Assistant Mixer - Matt DiMona, Engineer - Madison Love, Composer

An Asylum Records UK release, © 2022 Warner Music UK Limited An Asylum Records UK Release, ℗ 2021 Warner Records UK Limited.

9
Every Rule
00:03:03

Stuart Hawkes, Masterer - Charli Xcx, Vocals, MainArtist - Daniel Lopatin, Producer - Charlotte Aitchison, Composer - Geoff Swan, Mixer - Matt Cahill, Assistant Mixer - A.G. Cook, Producer, Engineer, Programmer, Synthesizer - Alexander Guy Cook, Composer - Niko Battistini, Assistant Mixer - Matt Cohn, Engineer, Additional Production, Programmer, Vocal Production

An Asylum Records UK release, © 2022 Warner Music UK Limited An Asylum Records UK Release, ℗ 2021 Warner Records UK Limited.

10
Yuck Explicit
00:02:18

Stuart Hawkes, Masterer - Charli Xcx, Vocals, MainArtist - nathan ferraro, Composer - Charlotte Aitchison, Composer - Geoff Swan, Mixer - Mike Wise, Producer, Programmer - Matt Cahill, Assistant Mixer - Elizabeth Lowell Boland, Composer - Niko Battistini, Assistant Mixer - Antonio Tucci Jr., Engineer - Michael Joseph Wise, Composer - Megan Buelow, Composer - AJ Tucci, Engineer

An Asylum Records UK release, © 2022 Warner Music UK Limited An Asylum Records UK Release, ℗ 2021 Warner Records UK Limited.

11
Used To Know Me
00:02:25

Fred McFarlane, Composer - Stuart Hawkes, Masterer - Kevin Grainger, Mixer - Charli Xcx, Vocals, MainArtist - Allen George, Composer - Jon Shave, Engineer, Keyboards, Programmer - Dopamine, Producer, Mixer - Charlotte Aitchison, Composer - Noonie Bao, Composer - Linus Wiklund, Composer - Darryl Reid, Engineer, Keyboards, Programmer - Thomas Warren, Engineer - Dylan Brady, Composer

An Asylum Records UK release, © 2022 Warner Music UK Limited An Asylum Records UK Release, ℗ 2021 Warner Records UK Limited.

12
Twice
00:03:14

Stuart Hawkes, Masterer - Charli Xcx, Vocals, MainArtist - Charlotte Aitchison, Composer - Noonie Bao, Composer - Linus Wiklund, Composer - Geoff Swan, Mixer - Matt Cahill, Assistant Mixer - Lotus IV, Producer, Keyboards, Drum Programmer, Recorded by, Bass - Niko Battistini, Assistant Mixer

An Asylum Records UK release, © 2022 Warner Music UK Limited An Asylum Records UK Release, ℗ 2021 Warner Records UK Limited.

Album Description

Reported to be her final album for Atlantic at the time of its release, Charli XCX embraces the idea of being a major-label pop artist to the fullest on Crash. For her, going mainstream is something of a daring move. Her previous album, 2020's Mercury Prize-longlisted how i'm feeling now, was one of her most experimental releases, its heartbroken hyperpop capturing the feeling of bouncing off the walls during the COVID-19 quarantine. That album (and her mixtapes) made a strong case for her more spontaneous releases being among her best, but the craft she applies to Crash isn't overdone. This is truly poptimist pop that consciously reframes the genre's past heyday as worthy of celebrating and updating. XCX grounds the album in the styles of the late '80s and early '90s and the late '90s and early 2000s -- eras when pop was highly produced but also highly creative. It's an aesthetic that suits Charli XCX well, especially on the bright, New Jack-jacking moves of "New Shapes," which features Caroline Polachek and Christine and the Queens, two other experts at giving a fresh context to vintage pop. On "Yuck," a charmingly disgusted rejection of lovey-dovey infatuation, XCX creates the perfect pastiche of late-'80s sounds, but she gets more literal on "Used to Know Me," which samples Robin S.'s 1993 earworm "Show Me Love"; on "Beg for You," a collaboration with Rina Sawayama, she folds in the massive hits "Cry for You" by September and "Don't Cry" by Milk Inc. Putting a boundary-pushing artist like Sawayama on one of Crash's most overtly retro songs feels like a missed opportunity, but "Beg for You"'s pulsing desperation is still a highlight that shows just how baked into pop's collective memory these decades-old songs still are. As she pays homage to pop music's past, XCX also borrows from her own. The way Crash takes inspiration from David Cronenberg's film of the same name echoes how she alluded to Quentin Tarantino's True Romance on her debut album, and the percolating death wish of the title track continues the car motif winding through her work since Icona Pop's "I Love It." The tweaked vocals on the slow-motion ballad "Move Me" recall the Charli highlight "Cross You Out," while "Good Ones" combines the self-defeating heartache that's been a key theme since her early days with the hooky songwriting that she's transformed into hits for others. Among all these revisitations of the past, Crash's concision feels new. On her other albums, XCX occasionally included so many songs that the great songs had to compete with the good ones for attention. At a sleek 33-minutes long, Crash lets songs like "Lightning" -- an unlikely but winning collision of freestyle beats, giddy orchestral synth stabs, and processed vocals -- claim the spotlight they deserve. It may not be quite as striking as how i'm feeling now, but on Crash, Charli XCX once again finds endless freedom in pop's constraints.
© Heather Phares /TiVo

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