Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

Charli XCX ft. Lizzo – Blame It On Your Love

Blame it on your love, makes me… wanna shove?


Leah Isobel: “Blame It On Your Love” has been floating around the internet in some form since 2016 — either its anemic leaked demo, the still-spectacular “Track 10,” or one of the many fan mashups of the two. What the final single release has over the other versions is polish and physicality. EASYFUN’s magic touch transforms the once-anemic drop into a bruiser, high and low frequencies pinging through the mix like coins in a blender, while the Diwali beat gives the track forward momentum. Charli’s vocal, meanwhile, isn’t abrasive like on “1999” or most of Pop 2; she approaches the track with a catch in her throat, words spilling out before she can stop them. You can sense traces of “Track 10″‘s vaporous, venomous self-loathing, but this version works because it’s sung by a girl who doesn’t hate herself. She accepts responsibility and the possibility of redemption; when the drop lengthens after the second chorus, threatening to overtake the track, Lizzo bursts in to talk her down, and the song lights up in response. The transmutation of pain and suffering into communal celebration is what makes pop pop. Here, finally, Charli learns alchemy.

Crystal Leww: “Blame It On Your Love” is doomed to be compared to “Track 10,” the much-beloved track at the end of the Pop 2 mixtape. “Blame It On Your Love” is the better song, with its bright, polished production and a guest verse by Critical It Girl Lizzo. But Charli doomed this song’s chances by debuting the songwriting on something so raw, intimate, and quiet. “Track 10” is always going to be what I hear when I feel this kind of heartbreak. 

Alfred Soto: The story of Charli XCX since 2014 is a strong hook-writing talent suppressed by her tendency to quash those hooks with guests and production gewgaws. “Blame It On Your Love” is no different — its title suggests the tragedy.

Tobi Tella: I thought Pop 2 was sometimes overwhelmingly weird, but this is much more accessible and still keeps Charli’s signature spirit. However, even when Pop 2 got too weird, it came from a place of artistic experimentation, and this just…doesn’t. It’s certainly fun and bouncy with a fine throwaway verse from Lizzo, but it’s a watered-down version of an already released song.

Abdullah Siddiqui: This does annoy me on premise. You can’t just take the avant out of an avant-pop masterpiece like Track 10. But we’re still left with a -pop masterpiece. Sue me, it’s Lizzo on a PC production, we’re lucky I didn’t implode.

Nortey Dowuona: Lumpy, sloping bass smacks against the thudding drums, then switches to swirling synths, warm bass loops, and a 2014 Flume breakdown out of nowhere. Charli XCX lies above, throwing darts down to Lizzo, who catches them, turns them to origami swans and sends them back up to Charli, who crushes them with her watery croon.

Will Adams: I never warmed to the abrasive soundscapes of “Track 10” or its parent album, but how is this a better alternative? Between turning the central line — devastated, broken, rendered numb through AutoTune — into a peppy shout-along, the incongruent Diwali riddim, horn blares from any EDM festival of yesteryear, and Lizzo tacked on for no other reason than clicks, every choice here seems designed to transform sincerity into cynicism.

Katherine St Asaph: You ever re-listen to True Romance lately and mourn what could have been?

Taylor Alatorre: I’m terrible at predicting future chart performance, but this sounds like it could be Charli’s first mainstream U.S. hit since “Boom Clap.” If not, it was certainly engineered for that purpose. I prefer Life Sim’s chirpy arpeggios to Stargate’s synthesized horn stabs, but the messy emotional center of “Track 10” is still there, which overrides any mere aesthetic preferences. Lizzo keeps her official presence to a minimum while still seeming to bend reality around her; the percussive beat sounds like it was made for her even if she does more background ad-libbing than rapping over it.

Vikram Joseph: “Track 10” felt like a tape unravelling, all of Pop 2‘s tumultuous energy combusting inwards in a magnificent entropic death-spiral. Makes sense that the wreckage would spawn a gleaming pop automaton; where “Track 10” lost itself in cosmic chaos, “Blame It On Your Love” is a rocket fired directly at the sun. The fact that it loses little of Charli XCX’s dangerous intensity in transition is a credit to both the production and the strength of the chorus; even the EDM spasms in the post-chorus feel gripping, and there’s no doubt it’ll start fires on dancefloors this summer. Lizzo’s cameo feels like a hype-gathering afterthought; it sounds copied and pasted in, and she hasn’t been given anything of interest to say, but it’s brief enough not to break the momentum too badly.

Ian Mathers: At this point, both acts have the kind of fans, and enough shared fans, who are going to have sky-high expectations for any sort of collaboration. And there are factors that could easily lead to disappointment: Lizzo’s very short guest verse, the fact that this is a re-shine of Charli’s much less poppy but still incredible “Track 10.” But you know what? “Track 10” didn’t get deleted when this came out, what Lizzo is here is solidly satisfying, and it’s still an incredible song. Whether it’s more or less incredible than its source — OK, have arguments about that, happy?

Reader average: [6.9] (10 votes)

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4 Responses to “Charli XCX ft. Lizzo – Blame It On Your Love”

  1. So basically Charli cannibalized Track 10 and mashed it up with an extra bouncy EDM remix of Diwali Riddim?

    I don’t hate this or anything but…. *Tatianna voice* Choices.

  2. “You ever re-listen to True Romance lately and mourn what could have been?”

    A month or two ago, and yes.

  3. “You ever re-listen to True Romance lately and mourn what could have been?”

    No, I listen to Pop 2 and celebrate what she’s become!

  4. not to pile on but

    “You ever re-listen to True Romance lately and mourn what could have been?”

    spiritually i am literally never not listening to true romance and mourning what she could have been