Charli XCX has always proudly stated her infatuation with big-tent ’90s pop. So when she pulled out a cover of one of that decade’s classics during a performance at Chicago’s Borderline Music, we knew she’d turn out a loving, novel tribute. What we didn’t expect, though, was that she’d sidestep her goddesses like Spice Girls and Gwen Stefani, and opt instead for Backstreet Boys‘ iconic “I Want It That Way.”
It was the first time the Brit has ever done the cover live, and her version takes the balladeering earnestness of the original and turns it into a dreamy, synth-based floater. It’s a pretty interpretation, and can we just say, it’s really nice to hear her vocals with such a stripped-down arrangement!
Check it out up top, and then see how it compares to One Direction‘s cover of the classic.