It’s finally here! Lorde’s ravenously-awaited sophomore album Melodrama is out now in all of its blissful, biting 11 tracks.
New Zealand pop royalty, Lorde, released her debut album Pure Heroine when she was just 16. Spawning two Grammy awards, the triple platinum album broke through with record-breaking, addictive ear-worm ‘Royals‘. Now 20 years old, Lorde’s follow-up album is simultaneously youthful and mature, exploring the liminal space with her signature honesty. Bookended by massive singles ‘Green Light‘ and ‘Perfect Places‘, the album is packed with equally intricate and catchy tunes.
Throughout the album, you can’t help but be impressed by Lorde’s voice. It varies seamlessly from low husky tones to high, delightfully clear notes, and while she sounds raw and honest, her execution is always spot on. Thankfully, Lorde’s soaring voice is supported by impeccable production, including super crisp, minimal beats, unique samples, rich piano and occasional shimmers of brass or strings. It all combines to make an incredibly smart brand of pop, but the intelligence doesn’t end there.
Lorde has not disappointed on the lyrical front, sharing savagely honest tales of late night facades and futile searches for love and wholeness. Lines like “Spill my guts beneath the outdoor light / It’s just another graceless night” and “These are the games of the weekend / We pretend that we just don’t care” seem mature beyond her age and definitely beyond other pop stars, but it’s what we’ve come to expect from the same person who told us “We’re so happy, even when we’re smilin’ out of fear” when she was still a teenager.
In the middle of the album is 6 minute heartbreak track ‘Hard Feelings/Loveless’. Beginning as a brooding groove track littered with humming pad sounds, mechanical groaning and quirky vocal samples, the second half of the song brings about a dramatic shift. The cacophony of whining sounds drop out to a punchy beat, cute piano and Lorde’s sickly sweet voice singing “cause I’m gonna mess your life up / gonna wanna tape my mouth shut” with sarcasm fierce in both its catchiness and shock value.
In fact, the album as a whole is crafted like a true piece of art. With recurring themes of honesty, regret, life and parties, the album ebbs and flows through ecstatic party tracks and sombre self-reflective songs, guided structurally by sequels to and reprises of previous songs. Every single choice, from drum sample to track order, has been expertly considered, creating a pop album that is sure to share more secrets with every listen.
Lorde will be bringing her dreamy, formidable show across Australia and New Zealand this November. Don’t miss out on seeing this masterpiece in all its raw live power.
Words by Hayley Franklin.