ELECTRA HEART: 6.9/10, i do not revisit this album much at all. it is squarely an album of its period and i think Stargate did Marina a disservice with some of the beats. that said, i can’t emphasize enough how much of the “Living Dead”, “Sex, Yeah!”, “Radioactive”, “Fear and Loathing”, and “Scab & Plaster” demos I listened to in the ramp up to the actual album release. those songs put together a perfect, imperfect EP for me that will forever live on in my heart as what could have been. “Sex, Yeah!” and “Teen Idle” remain two of my favourite songs ever though, so it’s really hard for me to be overly critical outside of my original score. i saw her perform this album live and it totally rocked, but i don’t think i need it in my iTunes anymore, if that makes sense.
TRUE ROMANCE: 8.9/10, ugh, ugh, ugh. I loved everything about this era and I was the biggest Charli XCX stan going into it. I only went to see Marina because Charli was opening for her, and I’ve seen Charli every time she’s been in Toronto since (even when she cancelled Time Festival, I still went!) but nobody can tell me songs like “Cloud Aura” and the album cut of “So Far Away” and “Lock You Up” deserve to live when the demo tracks were ALSO so much better. The synths for “Lock You Up” just THROB on her mixtape but they are diluted into such pithy submission in the album cut that I have to take major points away. It’s far and away the best Charli XCX album we’ve yet to see with such major hits like “Nuclear Seasons”/”Grins”, “You’re the One”, “Stay Away” and “You (Ha Ha Ha)” but, like Electra Heart, it could have been so much better. I listen to this album constantly, though, so it’s going to get a very high score from me.