Charli XCX continues her streak of making sugary, unabashedly girly pop with her new single “Boys,” which includes a music video starring what feels like every hot dude in music.
Riz Ahmed, Ty Dolla $ign, Joe Jonas, Stormzy, you got it. Crush on Mac DeMarco? That fool’s in there too, shirtless. Or maybe that dirtbag Diplo playing with puppies is more your vibe. Don’t worry; Charli, who directed the video, has you covered. “I need that bad boy to do me right on a Friday,” she sings. “And I need that good one to wake me up on a Sunday.” The whole thing plays out like a boy-of-the-month calendar as Charli pairs her stars with rose petals, disco-balls and chainsaws.
I like the minimalist video-game vibe of “Boys,” though it doesn’t really sound like the big, fiery traditional Charli XCX song, nor does it sound anything from her fire mixtape Number One Angel (I don’t care what anyone says, that record is great.) Even though “Boys” reminds me more of her True Romance-era music she sounds a lot more subdued here, having traded her manic cheerleader pop energy for something far more chill. Maybe that’s her label pushing a new sound on her, or maybe it’s her own choice (though she did make this song with two people she’s never worked with before). Either way, the vibe really suits Charli here on this dreamy, lacy-edged valentine of a song.