Single Review: Charli XCX & Troye Sivan - 1999 | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Single Review: Charli XCX & Troye Sivan – 1999

'1999' is an electrically inconsequential sugar rush of pop sheen and '90s nostalgia from Charli XCX and Troye Sivan, Music Writer Charlotte Russell reviews

‘1999’ by Charli XCX and Troye Sivan is trash. But it is brilliant trash. It’s fabulous trash adorned in gold leggings, pigtails and cherry lip-gloss, thus becoming the personification of the turn of the millennium. Y2K feared the end of the world via the crashing of every computer, so who would’ve known back then that 20 years later this anxiety would be channelled into a worldwide fascination with all things Boyzone, Windows XP and Barbie. ‘1999’ is my favourite thing to come out of pop right now, because it is honest trash. Charli XCX knows exactly what she is doing. By creating dumb, silly and simple music, it doesn’t have the capacity to leave your brain, and, to be quite honest, it’s so good that I’ll allow it to stay there for now.

The upbeat nature of the song sells this nostalgia in such a convincing way that it had me yearning for something that had I never actually experienced
In ‘1999’, I love the bratty attitude that is instant upon first listen, from the catchy “I just wanna go back to 1999..” that opens the song and characterises the choruses, to Charli and Troye’s musings on what they miss from this otherwise forgotten year. Who knew that 1999 was so iconic? According to the video, and lyrics such as: 'Drive ‘round listening to Shady like', it was the year of Titanic, Sketchers, Britney and Eminem. The tinny bass and synth mirrors a nostalgic yearning towards the Eurotrash I remember growing up to as a young’un. Within an instance, Charli and Troye’s ‘1999’ flooded back memories of Steps’ Gold and B*Witched’s self-titled album of which I both owned on CD, and would blast on my plastic lilac boom-box in my room a few years later.

In 1999 I was two, Troye was four and Charli was seven. The likelihood of any of us listening to Eminem’s Slim Shady LP whilst driving around the block in a fresh new Mercedes was pretty slim, however the upbeat nature of the song sells this nostalgia in such a convincing way that it had me yearning for something that had I never actually experienced. Charli and Troye’s latest track has cleverly tapped into the Y2K obsession that has taken over popular culture at the moment. By listening to ‘1999’, you’re probably not pining after a year you can hardly remember, but are buying into the latest social media fuelled trends that somehow have made Big Brother and Buffalo Boots cool again. Charli invented this adoration for the 90s with her SUCKER album, and continued right through to 00s trash with Pop 2. She is not following trends, but is simply supporting the fads which she herself has made so fashionable, and I am here for it. ‘1999’ is an absolute bop, it is pop music at its best and I really cannot wait to see what else Charli has to offer.

'1999' is available now via Asylum Records UK.



31st October 2018 at 3:00 pm

Images from

Stuart Sevastos