But what kept me coming back to the song was her vocal effects, as her choruses get more slurred and desperate, words slipping pell-mell into one another – “youdidn’twannaseemyFACEinyapersnalSPACEanniwannedtoRUNAWAYYEAH” – never losing the rhythm. If the emotional tone on “Valentine” is Roy Liechtenstein benday dots – “*SOB!*” – the singing is like expert comics lettering*, stylisation giving the feelings weight and shape.
- Tom Ewing
The key difference between the two best Charli XCX songs this year, “You’re the One” and “Valentine,” is that the former is a well-composed song with an excellent performance, and the latter is pretty much all performance. But as Tom points out, it’s an outstanding performance. That Liechtenstein analogy is dead-on.