Review

CHXRL pulls no emotional punches in his deeply personal new EP hopeless&romantic

CHXRL chronicles a diverse array of romantic and mental pitfalls throughout his life in his searing new EP hopeless&romantic. He blends fierce honesty with hook-laden pop choruses, lifting his emotionally fraught tracks with industry finesse. 

While EP opener and lead single “Good Enough” centres in on his mental health – backing up a narrative on anxiety and dissociation with broad, compelling synth and a driving liquid rhythm – the rest of the album leans on the romantic side, unspooling a series of deeply personal, and yet universal, experiences he’s had over the years. 

“The Girl Next Door” packs a punch with chunky guitar and fizzing synth, playing out a visceral tale of something a little too good to be true (“I’m kinda desperate for somebody desperate/ […] so crawl underneath my skin, make me feel like a man again”), while “CUTMEOFF” gets real on the experience of being ghosted – by the bartender at your local hangout, awkward – steeped in melancholy disappointment. 

The final two tracks are retrospective and perhaps the most poignant – “Dear Leah” is a stripped down confessional, a letter of adoration penned for a high school sweetheart. It’s sweeping and visceral, richly sentimental and introspective, and fills its five minute play time effortlessly. Then “Bad Choice” closes the EP with a visceral injection of hurt and anger, chronicling a toxic relationship and the messy end – wrapping things up with the sort of fervent authenticity which has put him on the map.

Feature pic supplied by artist