Judging by her new album CollXtion II, Oakville, Ontario’s Allie X has earned a pass into the league of extraordinary pop music pros that includes Carly Rae Jepsen, Grimes, Shawn Hook, and Tegan & Sara. She hits her stride and is now in a position to charm the masses with her brand of catchy synth pop.
A Billboard Hot 100 charting artist, thanks to “Catch” (#55), Alexandra Ashley Hughes launched a career in indie pop from Toronto. Four years ago, her talents took her to Los Angeles, US where she worked as a songwriter and on her own music, often collaborating with JUNO award winning Canadian producer Cirkut. CollXtion II is her first formal full-length album.
Choice cuts include ripe-for-radio whistling and plucky opener “Paper Love”. Slow-burning “Need You” combines seductive flickering percussion with an effective processed vocal feature of Valley Girl. “Lifted” crescendos into an exhilarating reggae-tinged chorus. A similar effect envelops the slightly eerie “Simon Says” which creeps into a synth-spicy chorus. Giving the album a large wattage of shimmer is “Old Habits Die Hard”. Previously released as a single, “That’s So Us” has perhaps the album’s winning melody. Closing out the disc is ballad “True Love Is Violent”, beautifully done. Strong writing for CollXtion II is enhanced by pristine production. Ideas have been carefully cultivated into perfect fruition. While some artists try to reinvent the wheel by dabbling in anticlimactic choruses, Allie does what always works: uses the verses to set up big, gratifying choruses. Allie X’s CollXtion II is in the running for Pop Album of the Year … worldwide. iTunes