Charli XCX has had a great 2014, between her "Fancy" collaboration with Iggy Azalea and her own smash "Boom Clap." Those successes make her sophomore album, "Sucker" (Atlantic), that much sharper, as Charli positions herself as more of a rock rebel than her pop hits would suggest. There's a whole lot of Ramones references going on in "London Queen," all set to a dance beat. She turns up the intensity on "Body of My Own," charmingly settling between Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Missing Persons. But it's the irresistible "Famous," where she outflanks Miley Cyrus by using some alt-rock guitars, that shows how rebellious she really is.
THE GRADE B+
BOTTOM LINE Raging with the pop machine