Charli XCX, Top 10, List, Pop

Top 10 Charli XCX Songs

Of all the underrated British pop queens in the scene right now, Charli XCX may be our favorite. Ever bold, sultry, and open to collaboration, she's a real artist who's always trying to introduce new concepts while staying true to herself with every record. She's had a mainstream punk-pop 2010s era, an experimental hyperpop late 2010s era, and now she's in an interesting synthy 2020s era that feels like a healthy mix of the two. Through all her sounds, we'll always love her.

Born in Cambridge and raised in Essex, she began posting songs on Myspace in 2008, which led to her discovery by a promoter who invited her to perform at warehouse raves. In 2010, she signed a recording contract with Asylum Records, releasing a series of singles and mixtapes throughout 2011 and 2012. The latter year, she rose to prominence with the Icona Pop collaboration "I Love It," which became an international success, reaching top 10 in North America and Europe. After releasing her record True Romance that failed to do well commercially, she dropped her punk-inspired sophomore album Sucker that received both critical and commercial acclaim.

Now, she's had a major comeback with her latest album Crash, is set to write songs with Jack Antonoff for an upcoming A24 movie and is even set to star in a movie herself. For this Top 10 list of her greatest hits, we'll be looking at both old and new Charli XCX songs we feel authentically showcase her style. While collabs are considered, we're only focusing on the ones where she's not considered a "featured" artist (or if she is featured, she's the only vocalist on the track). Without further ado, here's our picks!

10. "1999"

This rad collaboration between Charli and Troye Sivan couldn't be more nostalgic! "1999" – which is all about Charli's love for the jam-packed year – was released on October 5, 2018, as the lead single from her self-titled third studio album, Charli. The peppy song was originally debuted by Charli at an intimate listening party with fans in June 2018, during which she asked the audience if she should release the track or pitch it to other artists. Originally assumed to be produced by Max Martin, the final version of the song was produced for release by Swedish writer and producer Oscar Holter.

In the year 1999, Charli XCX was only 7 years old. She told Genius how the song came to be: "I’ve done a lot of interviews where people are like, 'You’re really nostalgic for the past.' Like, la la la. And it’s like, 'No, I’m not really.' But I just thought it’d be a cool title, to have a song called "1999," ‘cause I feel like there’s so much cool imagery around that time period. And there’s a lot to play with, with music videos and fonts and stuff. So, that’s why I kind of had the idea for this song. And then it just sort of snowballed, and it became something kind of cool."

Charli met Troye Sivan after hosting a house party. Together in the music video, they recreated those cool images Charli mentioned: being Jack and Rose in Titanic, leaning back to dodge bullets in The Matrix, pretending to be Steve Jobs and Eminem, and even dancing as characters in The Sims 1.

9. "Yuck"

One of our favorites from Charli's latest album, Crash. Not only did she go back to her roots in the record, but she also experimented with new sounds. "Yuck" sees Charli play around with funk elements. It's an upbeat romp about wanting to stay friends with benefits while your mate is looking for something more. The rhyme scheme in this track, especially that line in the chorus, "Yuck, lookin' at me all sucky / Yuck, quit acting like a puppy / F--k, going all lovey-dovey on me," can't be beat.

On the song and its placement in Crash, Charli told Apple Music, "I like the drastic gear change here. I like that it makes you laugh. I like those jarring moments on albums and in live shows where you’re going from the most intimate, quiet song to the most hilarious or poptastic. That was the reasoning behind putting “Every Rule” and “Yuck” back to back. I really struggle with that feeling of being smothered. It’s probably an only-child thing, or something. When you’re like, ‘Get away from me, give me some fucking space'—that is seriously how I feel 50% of the time. It also reminds me of that gang vocal element of "Boom Clap" and "Boys". Not sonically, but more in terms of the way that I’m singing."

8. "Track10"

"Track10" is an astounding achievement in the subgenre of hyperpop. It's actually a remix of Charli's previously unreleased song “Blame It On Your Love,” making it the only tune on Pop 2 that wasn’t specifically made for the mixtape. The original track was later remixed again – including a feature from Lizzo and released as a single in May 2019.

With a runtime of 5 minutes and 27 seconds, "Track10" is more of a sonic experience rather than a solid pop song. The opening 20 seconds feel like glitchy chiptune from an old-school videogame. Once Charli's vocals come in, the sound feels graceful and synthy. As she keeps repeating "I blame it on your love," the synths grow heavier, louder, and more varied. The bridge features some vocoded vocals and more cutesy glitching, and by the end, Charli repeats her lyrics over pounding beats.

"Track10" is without a doubt the most unique song in Charli's catalogue. It proves that not only can she nail mainstream pop anthems, but the more thought-provoking experimental stuff, too. What a great grand finale to a fabulous mixtape!

7. "New Shapes"

We already got a fabulous collaboration between Charli XCX and Christine and the Queens in the song "Gone." "New Shapes" brings them back together, as well as a feature from underrated pop queen Caroline Polachek! This song wonderfully blends all three of the pop stars' signature sounds together: Charli's synths, Chris' drama, and Caroline's airiness. It almost sounds like something MUNA would produce. And of course, it's got the catchiest chorus we've ever heard! We could listen to that metallic-sounding "I ain't got it" all night, all day.

"Caroline, Christine and I had worked together many times in different forms, and it was time for the three of us to come together," Charli said about this Crash song via Apple Music. "And actually, this song was recorded a long time ago—pre-pandemic. I like how it’s an anti-hero song. We’re saying to the love figure, ‘I haven’t got what you need from me, because I am not typical. I don’t operate in the way that you want me to. I want multiple partners. I want somebody else. I want no convention within sex and love.’ And I like that as a statement right after the sound of a car crash in the previous song. To do that song with them — two artists who I really feel have such a unique, defiant and topsy-turvy vision of what pop music is — felt really classic and right for us. There’s a true connection between us now, in music and in our personal lives."

6. "pink diamond"

Mix the sultriness of Charli XCX with the hardcore, demonic production of an act like Death Grips, and you've got "pink diamond." This standout opening from 2020's how i'm feeling now emphasized the restlessness we all felt during the beginning of the pandemic. That feeling of wanting to "go real hard" at the club or a party, but being unable to because of the state of the world. Charli feels like a "pink diamond in the dark" having to video chat at home instead of being out and about.

The title was inspired by the iconic pink diamond ring Jennifer Lopez had received from Ben Affleck back in 2002. Charli remembered it after being on a video call with Jennifer Lopez for an interview, and Jennifer talking about a conversation she had with Barbara Streisand about diamonds. A few days later, producer Dijon sent her the beat that would soon become "pink diamond." Listening to this track is an insane trip, and probably the heaviest, slappiest song Charli has ever put out.

5. "Boom Clap"

Oh, "Boom Clap." What fond memories we have of you during the 2010s' Tumblr era. We almost forgot this song was a single for the movie adaptation of John Green's The Fault In Our Stars soundtrack. You seriously can't get any more 2010s than that.

Charli had some attention from her features on the songs "I Love It" (Icona Pop) and "Fancy" (Iggy Azalea) at the time, but "Boom Clap" is what proved to the world she thrived as a solo act. Charli originally wrote the song for Hilary Duff, since the Disney star was making a comeback around the time and Charli was a big Lizzie McGuire fan. But Charli was told by Hilary's team it wasn’t "cool enough." So Charli did the right thing and recorded the song herself. We're happy she did, because the Sucker track proved to be a smash hit. It became her first Billboard Hot 100 top-ten single. And we think it still has some of her best vocal work to date.

Another cool fact about "Boom Clap" is that its bassline interpolates Natalia Kills’s “Saturday Night.” This classic "picture-perfect blue" track will forever live on as a staple of 2010s pop culture. We hope it gets played on and on and on and on.

4. "Hot In It"

This Charli XCX and Tiësto bop oozes confidence, sex, and heat! Tiësto had been trying to work with Charli for years before this track, and had even done a remix of her song "Break the Rules." The original vocalist for "Hot In It" wasn't really moving Tiësto, so he shared the song with Charli in the hopes she'd want to sing it. Amazingly, she said yes, and the pair rewrote some lyrics to better suit her style.

We love "Hot In It" for its pure dancefloor vibes, message about feeling good despite heartbreak, its fast-paced melody, and the Britney Spears-level choreography featured in the music video. We don't have much to say about this summery song except that it's something you will definitely shake your a-- to. We hope Charli and Tiësto do more collabs in the future!

3. "Good Ones"

"Good Ones" marked Charli's grand Crash comeback. It's 80s-inspired, synthy, and dramatic – it almost echoes her earlier work. But unlike her older material, the production quality on "Good Ones" feels a bit cleaner and crisp.

"This song is essentially about always kind of running away from people who are good for you and running towards the people who are dangerous, you know?" Charli said about the song's story to Genius. "Kind of going for bad people and maybe it’s because they’re a bit more fun and exciting...but also bad for you. And I think that’s something that everyone’s sort of been through at some point, maybe...I hope it’s not just me."

The tastefully provocative music video – which sees Charli attending her boyfriend's funeral and dancing on her own grave – is both a literal interpretation of the lyric "I always let the good ones go," and a metaphor for Charli's resurrection onto the pop scene. It's twisted, theatrical, and even a little bit witchy. Seriously, with the way those bibles flame up at the 30-second mark, we think it's proof Charli may be a musical sorceress. That's why all her songs are good ones.

2. "Vroom Vroom"

"Vroom Vroom" is a game-changer. Not only did it mark a temporary shift in Charli's sound – an introductory track to a period where she'd focus on more experimental production – but it also put left-field British electronic producer SOPHIE into the limelight. Sadly, SOPHIE tragically passed away in 2021, but this song lives on as one of her greatest contributions to the genre of hyperpop.

What makes "Vroom Vroom" so great is its brashness in sound and lyrics, as well as the rapping style Charli uses in the chorus that feels like an homage to M.I.A. The whipping vroom vroom sound is a feast for the ears every time it whizzes by in the chorus, and Charli's "beep beep" lyric is layered so that it actually sounds like a car horn. We also love the eclectic key change in the pre-chorus (Charli's soprano is gorgeous) and every rhyme in the first verse slaps hard.

Charli told Fader about her collab with SOPHIE on "Vroom Vroom," "Sometimes we get aggressive, sometimes we get beautiful — she pushes me and I push her. I’m making beautiful party songs right now and this is just the start." Also, we feel like her Bodies Bodies Bodies single "Hot Girl" is a spiritual sequel to this jam.

1. "Break The Rules"

We wanted our #1 pick to be something that felt like classic Charli XCX, while also something that saw her pushing boundaries, as she does so well. We settled on her 2014 Sucker track "Break The Rules" which was released just after the hit "Boom Clap." It's a punk-pop anthem made for the carefree kids who just want to skip school and go out to party. It's youthful, daredevilish, and feels like a slaphappy rush. It has a wild message that would stay prominent in Charli's future songs. "Boom Clap" put Charli on the map, but "Break The Rules" made sure she'd stay in the music industry for a while.

In a 2014 Buzzfeed article, Charli said about "Break The Rules," "The song is inspired by a lot of the things I was listening to whilst in Sweden at the end of last year. I spent about a month making a punk record and covering songs by Swedish punk bands like Portrait of a Death Rapper and stuff. This song was written when I came out of the other side of that punk phase and translated it into something more pop. Obviously, it’s about not giving a f--k."

Despite "Break the Rules" becoming the theme song for discotheque-ing kids everywhere, Charli has actually expressed hatred for the song, stating in an interview, "That was so bad. I hate it. I wrote it at a writing camp for other artists with Benny Blanco and Stargate, and I was like, "Whoever sings this song is an idiot.” She also revealed the song being the lead single from Sucker wasn't her choice: "Cut to four months later, it's on my album, and it's the lead single. I f---ed myself."

While Charli may think this song is...well, a sucker, we're able to look past the outdated early 2010s aesthetic and see her potential within. The synthy buildup and banging beats within the chorus feel like a seedling of pop sound that would be grown and cultivated as she matured. "Break The Rules" may be green and mainstream, but it showed Charli had what it took to be a star. In the pop game, it truly did break the rules.

Check out our selection of free stations streaming Charli XCX music at

Rather listen on our app? Download the Live365 app on iOS or Android. Ready to start your own station? Contact one of our Product Consultants or visit our website today. Keep up with the latest news by following us on Facebook (Live365 (Official) and Live365 Broadcasting) and Twitter (@Live365 and @Broadcast365)!

Article Image: Charli XCX raises her hand up during a Shanghai performance in 2017. (ChinaImages via DepositPhotos.)

Author image

About Kathryn Milewski

  • New Jersey