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Charli XCX Glams Up Coupling on Sweetly Flickering ‘What I Like’

Charli XCX

Charli XCX’s striking talent has so far been matched only by her equally obvious ambition, and at times recently it has looked like the latter might outweigh the former. The U.K. singer followed her head-turning cloud-pop kiss-off “You (Ha Ha Ha)” with a post-Sandy Hook video so packed with guns she wound up apologizing. Meanwhile, she extended her appealing rap-mixtape fascination on songs like “Cloud Aura,” an impressively cinematic heartbreaker that nevertheless burdened the world with an L.A. scenester’s rapped Chris Brown reference.

“What I Like” combines XCX’s successes and her overreaches and shows there was no reason to worry. “Cloud Aura” producer J£ZUS MILLION’s sighing vocal samples and trap-inflected finger-snaps here make for a strobe-lit concoction fit for the club, the car radio, or, as XCX sings here, “Sittin’ on your bedroom floor smokin’.” XCX mostly relies on a conversationally lilting vocal style here, reminiscent of fellow Brits like LIly Allen or the Streets, but there’s also a soaring, effects-gargling bridge worthy of Future (and such lyrics as “this shit is kinda gangsta”).

Basically, our narrator and a romantic partner are in her house undressing, and this is obviously a regular occurrence, and they’re “on some husband and wife shit” and she’s not mad about it. Neither are we!

“What I Like” will appear on XCX’s proper debut album, True Romance, due out on April 16 via IAMSOUND.

Listen over at The Fader.