Charli XCX may have ridden shotgun on this summer’s inescapable “Fancy,” but “Sucker” is less Iggy Azalea than Lily Allen. Not that the music underneath her echoes anything that Allen has done, specifically; Charli could be Lorde with more bells and whistles (lots more), when she’s not exploiting the same stacked, processed guitar and drums that Sleigh Bells forge into pure assaultive power. But she shares with Allen a gleeful, almost defiant joy in being a witheringly disdainful brat; just about the first words out of her mouth, directed at someone who had the audacity to attempt to impress the unmoved singer, are “[expletive] you, sucker!” Charli sounds both incapable of smiling and as if she’s having a blast wreaking havoc, whether she’s telling her guy to take a hike in the snappy, impossibly buoyant “Breaking Up,” eagerly leaving her home country in the dust in the Kim
Wilde-ish “London Queen,” or embracing glittery, hedonistic, party-crashing shallowness in “Famous.” She’s far less convincing when playing the victim of love on “Caught in the Middle” and “Need Ur Luv” — “Sucker” is better when Charli has a bite. (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “Breaking Up”Marc Hirsh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.