Charli XCX / Christine and the Queens: “Gone”

Is everything OK in Charli land? Ahead of Charli XCX’s upcoming album Charli, pop’s queen of having a wild good time has resorted to the attainable escapism of “1999” with Troye Sivan and recruited Lizzo to “Blame It on Your Love.” But real healing requires introspection, and Charli’s latest single, “Gone,” written and recorded with Christine and the Queens’ Héloïse Letissier, starts from a different place. “I am just now realizing, they don’t care/I try real hard, but I’m caught up by my insecurities,” Charli admits.

A. G. Cook’s production matches the bassy stutters and crackles of Charli’s post-PC Music projects with the kinetic, bilingual funk-pop of Christine and the Queens’ 2018 album Chris. The song bangs like it’s trying to get out of a big metal box, probably because that’s how its creators are feeling: “I feel so unstable, fucking hate these people/How they’re making me feel lately,” sings Charli, with typical bluntness. Beside her, Letissier narrates existential panic: “I see myself and I look scared and confused/Wait, did they just talk? Why is it loud?” she asks, a tart pucker in her voice. Though the song’s video finds the pair tied by the same bondage ropes, there’s not much space for mutual support here—more like two parallel panic spirals.

The only answers are more questions, and the extended coda flips and stretches them to the breaking point. It’s both a technical flex and a kind of lopsided resolution: What if, instead of a constant thunderous disquiet, we try to unwind any way we can?

https://pitchfork.com/reviews/tracks/charli-xcx-christine-and-the-queens-gone/

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