Review: Iggy Azalea "Fancy" featuring Charli XCX

Iggy Azalea -
Iggy Azalea - "Fancy". Courtesy Island

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Written by Amethyst Kelly, Charlotte Aitchison, George Astasio, Jason Pebworth, Jon Shave, and Kurtis McKenzie

Produced by The Invisible Men and The Arcade

Released February 2014 by Island

Pros

  • Irresistibly catchy chorus and synth lines
  • Charli XCX's Gwen Stefani styled vocals on the chorus

Cons

  • Everything sounds a bit too recycled
  • Tiresome obsession with material culture delivered with a straight face

    Although her major commercial breakthrough with this song makes Iggy Azalea seem new to most pop fans, for many of us her presence on the charts is long overdue. Two years ago she seemed to be the hottest new thing with an impending debut album shepherded by T.I.  Finally, the debut album The New Classic here, and following three other top 20 pop hits in the UK, "Fancy" is a worldwide smash.  Is it deserving of the massive success?  That question is not easily answered.

    There is no question that "Fancy" is one of the catchiest hits currently on pop radio. That spare synth line will take you straight back to the late 80s as mentioned in the lyric line. Iggy Azalea goes down easy with the rhymes, but it is the Gwen Stefani styled chorus courtesy British singer Charli XCX that really sells the record. So far so good, but it doesn't take long before everything sounds very very recycled. It also leaves me looking forward to the next Gwen Stefani solo album.

    Lyrically, Iggy Azalea takes us back to hip hop obsessions with Cristal, conspicuous consumption, and trashing of hotels. If it wasn't that it all is delivered in such a measured, careful way, "Fancy" might work as a bit of satire.  Unfortunately, it sounds like Iggy Azalea really is wanting us to take the glamorous life depicted in the song seriously.

     Gwen Stefani did do this even better nearly 10 years ago on "Luxurious."

    The achievements of "Fancy" should not be dismissed, however.  She is the first major female rapper to arrive on pop radio since Nicki Minaj, and it is good to hear a female rap voice on pop radio. Iggy Azalea hails from Australia, not previously known for generating hip hop stars, and she is certainly a striking visual presence. Her story is one of dogged determination having headed to the US at the age of 16 and refusing to return home.  She has scrapped her way into the mainstream and has learned how to draw maximum attention to her musical creations.

    Charli XCX has now given her voice to two top 10 pop hit singles as featured performer, and she truly is the anchor of "Fancy." Previously, she joined Icona Pop on their massive breakthrough hit "I Love It." Charli XCX released True Romance, her debut album as lead artist, a year ago.  It had minor chart success, but the single "SuperLove" was largely ignored. With the success of "Fancy" at her back, a new album is expected this summer.

    Iggy Azalea has stolen the pop moment with "Fancy." The song has powered its way into the pop top 10 in both the US and UK. The album The New Classic opened inside the top 5 on both sides of the Atlantic.

    Look for "Fancy" to be one of the songs of the summer for 2014.  It is likely to be inescapable. Let's hope for a bit more originality the next time around, but meanwhile "Fancy" certainly is catchy.