There’s life in old-fashioned juvenile delinquency yet. Youthful rebellion is one of the oldest tricks in the pop-culture book, to the point where a rising star like Lorde can get considerable mileage out of mocking the idea of “trashin’ the hotel room.” Lyrically, at least, Charli XCX has seized the opening for glamorous hedonism, notably recommending she and Iggy Azalea “trash the hotel” in their massive 2014 hit “Fancy.”
For those who’ve been following Charli XCX since before her excellent debut album, last year’s True Romance, it has been thrilling to see her finally rise up on the U.S. pop charts without a “featuring” credit courtesy of giddy new-love ode “Boom Clap,” from The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack. But the former Ed Banger Records disciple hasn’t gone soft: Today she revealed the title of her next album, Sucker, which potentially lends itself to far more punk-indebted irony than its predecessor. And she also, via Buzzfeed, shared another new track, “Break the Rules,” a punk-meets-dubstep jolt that goes far harder than either “Boom Clap” or last fall’s joyous “SuperLove.”
Even the goodiest of two-shoes can probably get behind the song’s central idea on, say, an August morning when you’re already back to the daily classroom grind: “I don’t wanna go to school / I just wanna break the rules,” Charli XCX crows. Guitar and sunglasses still signify cool misbehavior here, but the rest of the whooshing, post-Skrillex production is appropriately of the moment. And for better or worse, hardly a set of Top 40 radio seems to go by without a potentially bleep-able reference to drugs or alcohol (or, in the case of Tinashe‘s “2 On,” both), so however much Charli XCX trolls concerned parents with her call for “getting high and getting wrecked” instead of getting a perfect attendance record, she stands a chance of making up for it in airplay. Stay in school, kids; it’s perfectly safe to find liberation in a pop song, though.
Have you ever seen one of those college marching bands going all “we don’t need no education”? Class is in session; school’s out forever. SUCKERRRRS.