Charli XCX shifts into gear with new EP

(“Vroom Vroom” is Charli XCX’s first release since her 2014 album “Sucker.”)

Charli XCX is an English pop artist who isn’t afraid of a little experimentation. Her latest EP, “Vroom Vroom,” is proof of this.

You may know Charli from her feature on the popular Iggy Azalea track “Fancy,” but don’t let that serve as a metric of her talent. She knocks it out of the park on this EP with a little help from SOPHIE, an English electronic producer whose debut album, “PRODUCT,” was a highlight of 2015. SOPHIE produced the instrumentals for every track on this project and his unique blend of dark and quirky production complements Charli’s vocal delivery perfectly.

The first track, “Vroom Vroom,” is a prime example of SOPHIE’s production. The juxtaposition of the bright and bubbly chorus vocals and instrumentals against the braggadocious rapped verses accompanied by a dark, electronic beat complete with synthetic car revving sounds, create an extremely entertaining and varied listen.

The third track, “Trophy,” follows a similar formula with a catchy and upbeat chorus paired with some in-your-face rapped verses and wonderfully implemented vocal samples.

Though it is the EP’s least experimental and most radio-friendly song, “Paradise” is still a great track once you get past the chorus’ pitch-shifted vocals. Here, SOPHIE implements some of the extremely textured, synthetic sounds that were all over “PRODUCT.”

The closing track, “Secret (Shh)” delivers one of SOPHIE’s darkest instrumentals yet, but Charli’s vocals remain front and center. The bridge toward the end really shows off just how beautiful Charli’s voice can be.

Unfortunately, this is where the lyrics, the weakest aspect of this project, are most noticeable. Most of the verses are well written, although, for the most part, there isn’t much substance to them. However, it’s clear to see that Charli had fun with them and that’s all that really matters with this type of music.

But, I can’t help but roll my eyes as she rhymes “secret” with “keep it,” a lyrical cliché almost as old as “miss you”/”kiss you.”

All that aside, this track brilliantly brings the project to a close.

When I first saw that SOPHIE would be producing Charli XCX’s latest project, I was skeptical as to whether their two styles would work together.

But they did a great job at combining the bright and bubbly side of electronic music with its darker and harsher cousin.

This set of tracks is the epitome of short and sweet. The only major complaint I have with this is that it’s too short. At just over 12 minutes, I’m left craving more.

Check out the EP Below: