Pop pioneer Charli XCX has been bigger and brasher than ever in 2022, as she changed gears and entered the Crash era in full throttle. As she release the music video for her latest single, “Used To Know Me”, I thought it’d be a perfect opportunity to look back through the pop powerhouse’s visual catalogue and rank each and every single music video in Charli XCX’s discography. Buckle up, and get ready to crash!
25. Nuclear Seasons
Ah, the start of the True Romance era. The “Nuclear Seasons” video feels more like a ‘visualiser’ in today’s industry. Kudos to you if you manage to sit and watch the whole four minutes.
24. What I Like
Still a little too basic for it to rank any higher. I’d probably believe you if you told me this was filmed on an iPhone 3, but that’s besides the point. There isn’t much about this one, Charli has pizza and a bath with some friends- that’s all there is to say.
23. Boom Clap
Ah, a classic. The OG. This is arguably where it all started. Though still Charli’s most viewed video to date, Boom Clap is objectively a pretty boring video. The cute screen animation is a nice touch though, I just wish we didn’t see Shailene Woodley popping up on screen every 5 seconds.
22. Every Rule
Moving on to the first entry from the Crash era! Every Rule is a cute dreamy performance-style video, but works more as a visualiser than an official ‘music video’.
21. Break The Rules
If we were ranking the music, this would be bottom. The break the rules video is meh at best. I still want to know who OK’d this to be released, let alone be a single. Rose McGowan has a random cameo and covers Charli in slime? Okay?
There was serious consideration to put this one in dead last place. The only thing that saved it was that it actually attempts to include a social commentary about the media and pop-star culture. Every part of this video is cursed- the zombie parents, the final boss whose dirty belly button doubles as a phone charger, and the terrifying final shot. Charli XCX herself is barely in the video too, only making a cameo through a phone screen.
The first of Charli’s homemade pandemic music videos. Forever isn’t really something I’d designate an official music video, rather a ‘fan video’ as it’s coined these days. Charli rallied her fans to send in clips of themselves to make up a cute montage for her first single from How I’m Feeling Now. She only actually appears a few times herself.
18. You (Ha Ha Ha)
Lots of Charli’s older videos are littered with cheap screen VFX that really date them. Of course, the videos are of their time, and very reminiscent of the Tumblr-esque era of the internet, but without the dodgy visual additions I think the videos could still look fresh today. I can’t say I fully understand the concept of the video? Charli and her mates are loading guns in a basement and decide to have a little boogie? Okay girls! Moving on…
Ah, how could we forget. The green-screen video filmed in her basement (no, literally). She threw what she had at the wall and made it work! The Claws video has a ‘so bad it’s good’ feel to it, but ultimately I couldn’t rank it any higher than this.
16. 5 in the Morning
While this may be one of Charli’s most underrated songs, the video doesn’t have much to show for it. It’s 3 minutes of her wandering around an empty warehouse attempting to deliver a cool visual, which works at times, but is also very repetitive.
15. Cloud Aura (feat. Brooke Candy)
I touched on Charli’s early videos having a Tumblr era aesthetic earlier- but this is the one that fully embodies that. I’m convinced any frame could be pulled from this video and be a viral tumblr pic. There’s such an early 2010s nostalgia to this video that I just love- even though the production budget was probably a tenner.
14. White Mercedes
Whilst there are definitely some striking visuals across its runtime, there just isn’t enough to make me LOVE the White Mercedes video. It’s really cute though, that’s for sure.
13. Breaking Up
The opening scene is camp. It’s definitely on the better side of the Sucker era, there are actually some nice visuals here if you look for them.
12. You’re The One
This is objectively the best music video from the True Romance era. It easily has the highest production value of the lot, which combined with the fact it has some stunning visuals that still hold up today, make it an unquestionable standout of the era.
11. 2099 (feat. Troye Sivan)
This is one of those music videos that matches the vibe of its song perfectly. Charli and Troye jet skiing around a tropical island whilst showing off some gravity defying stunts is the only thing I want to see when listening to 2099. Gorgeous.
10. Doing It (feat. Rita Ora)
This one really hits the nostalgia factor. I must have watched this video about 2749 times when I was 15. The vintage, film-style aesthetic only adds to the charm of Doing It. The cowboy dance break at the end is a little cursed, though.
9. Blame It On Your Love (feat. Lizzo)
Another Charli XCX video with a strong concept. Love is valid in all forms. Even for… fertility nymphs and K9 filterheads? I don’t know, go watch the video. Also, the repeated phrase ‘I evolved in 2023’ is something I wouldn’t be shocked to rock up again at some point in the future Charli’s mind. After all, she too is ‘evolving’ into a new artist for 2023, having ended her major label record contract this year.
8. Beg For You (feat. Rina Sawayama)
Charli’s collaboration with rising star Rina Sawayama marked another dark entry to her visual catalogue, seeing the pair perform satanic rituals over pools of blood. Add in a leather-faced demon and Charli dancing like she’s been possessed and you’ve got yourself an eerily good video.
7. New Shapes (feat. Christine and the Queens & Caroline Polachek)
Another cool, interesting concept. The video is actually an imaginary TV show performance. Throw Christine, Caroline and some choreo into the mix and you’ve got a very watchable treat.
Another classic. Pretty sure every man and their dog have seen this video. If you haven’t, go ahead and give it a stream, you’ll probably catch on of your favourite celebrities somewhere in the mix.
5. Gone (feat. Christine and the Queens)
Sometimes, a simple yet effective music video is better than one that tries to do the most. That’s most certainly the case for Gone, which takes place in just a single room. Charli and Chris’ strong presence and chemistry allow you to never lose touch with the video or want to take your eyes off the screen.
Without a doubt, Baby is the sexiest video in Charli XCX’s catalogue. It’s the first time we her go balls to the wall with her choreo, and it really pays off.
3. Used To Know Me
Charli really treated us with her latest music video, she didn’t have to give us nine(!) looks, but she did. She didn’t have to give us choreo in almost every scene, but she did. She didn’t have to give us everything we wanted, BUT SHE DID. This is perhaps her most ambitious video to date, here’s to hoping she treats us to more absolute serves like this in the future.
2. 1999 (feat. Troye Sivan)
This was a moment. Even the locals who only know Charli for Boom Clap probably know every word to this track, and are likely familiar with its iconic, nostalgia-packed music video. Charli cosplays as everyone from the Spice Girls, Rose from Titanic, and even Steve Jobs. There’s so much crammed into this three minutes that make the video so fun and rewatchable, that it had to come in the runner up spot.
1. Good Ones
The supreme. Yes, Good Ones is Charli XCX’s best music video ever. As the first video from the Crash era, it really set the precedent for the huge jump in quality for her visuals this time around. Filmed in Mexico and directed by Hannah Lux Davis, we see Charli dramatically mourning a loss, realising she’s once again lost the goodness in her life. She climbs a coffin, dances on her own tombstone, and dies at someone else’s wake. Iconic. The American Horror Story: Coven vibes add such distinct character to this dark, sexy video, that leave you wanting to watch it on constant repeat.
So, there we have it, all 25 official Charli XCX music videos ranked. How did your favourite do? Which Charli XCX video is your favourite?
Featured Image Credit: ID