The reference points are there to be poked and prodded at, but make no mistake: Charli XCX is riding a wave, fast-becoming the Massive Deal she’s always hinted at being. ‘Break The Rules’ places ‘Song 2’ in a present day club environment and it sounds unashamedly massive. Throw in a “don’t give a fuck” attitude and rebellious streak and – whisper it – she might’ve topped the summer-defining ‘Boom Clap’ and ‘Fancy’.
It’s been a breakthrough year for Charli, not that 2013 wasn’t mindblowingly busy. Last year’s ‘True Romance’ LP came off more like a mixtape than a proper full-length, in places. It digested everything exciting about music in that year and projected its own stance in glitter-doused, splintered parts. Some bits sounded amazing, others made less sense. ‘Break The Rules’ – when placed alongside ‘Boom Clap’ – sounds like one of the country’s best songwriters coming into her own. It’s a marquee moment for an artist that’s only going to get better, more exciting, more capable of flicking a switch and changing things up faster than the cultural zeitgeist can say ‘What’s going on here, then?’