sat 06/06/2020

CD: Lorde - Melodrama | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Lorde - Melodrama

CD: Lorde - Melodrama

The Kiwi songstress's long-awaited second album ticks all the right boxes

Lorde - keeping her place as the voice of a generation

The follow-up to Lorde's multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated album Pure Heroine has been a long time coming after the 16-year-old singer/songwriter withdrew from the limelight and beat a hasty retreat back to her home country of New Zealand.

Four years later, Lorde (real name Ella Yelich-O'Connor) took to New York to collaborate with high-end producers who've worked with Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Beyonce, Madonna and Justin Bieber. While the upswing from independent to made shows in the polished and slickly produced sounds of pop, electro, indie, ballad and a touch of a reggae beat, there is no sense of Lorde losing her true self to the mainstream market.

Her self-perceptive wryness, tinged with introversion, is still apparent, but Melodrama seems to glide in on a cool wave of self-assurance. Where her 16-year-old self was unsure, sardonic or chaotic, here she finds a balance between revealing some parts of herself and covering up others.

The album is in parts soft, open, heartbroken, revealing (particularly in the brilliant piano ballad "Liability", a beautifully lilting, poetic soliloquy of the self) but in others, she is cutting it with the millennials - "broadcasting the boomboomboom" in "The Louvre", or "blowing shit up" with "Homemade Dynamite". Some songs talk of getting off her face ("Sober" & "Sober II"). She offers up a wry take on her loveless generation just all "fuckin' with our lover's heads" in "Hard Feelings", showing she hasn't lost that knack from playing games with what she perceives.

"Writer in the Dark" is one of her strongest numbers stylistically, remniscent of Kate Bush with echoes of Regina Spektor. The idea that she's bound for such iconic greatness, coupled with intense poetry and music built on a solid bedrock of artistry and deep thought, makes this album one for now, but also for forever.

Lorde balances revealing some parts of herself and covering up others

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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