Charli XCX released a version of Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off," and we aren't gonna bullshit you, it fell horrifically flat. It landed somewhere between bad karaoke and shower singing.
We wouldn't go so far as to say that pop punk is dead, but there's certainly a Gwen Stefani-shaped hole in our hearts that has yet to be filled since her solo career took off. The Donnas had a shot, but they fell off the face of the planet. And while Hayley Williams of Paramore puts on a exuberant punk show, the band's songs don't light up the Billboard charts often enough for us to feel any solace.
Enter Charli XCX. With "Boom Clap" on The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack and her strong chorus in "Fancy," we thought she could herald a new wave of badass punk girls who aren't afraid to scream angry, unrequited love lyrics and do pushups on stage.
Alas, we just don't think she's that punk. Sure, wearing a white tux to the Grammys is daring, but black eyeliner and wardrobe aside, we just don't see or hear it. She feels disingenuous. She reminds us of that band at the prom in 10 Things I Hate About You that was, well, another crappy impression of No Doubt. This girl needs some cred in the form of a strong opinion, shoutier vocals, and more powerful guitar solos in her songs. Ay, caramba.
Judge for yourself:
Akilah Hughes is a comedian, YouTuber, and staff writer and producer for Fusion's culture section. You can almost always find her waxing poetic about memes and using too many emojis. 🍕