Melodrama (Lava Records)
The last time we had a Lorde album, the world was a different place. Barack Obama had just started his second term in office and Beyoncé had just given birth to her first child. Moreover, the Auckland, New Zealand teen - formerly known as Ella Yelich O'Connor - had proclaimed herself a “detention-brat” who hated pop music and pop artists, but did not mind cashing in on the prize. Indeed, the young woman and her debut album, Pure Heroine (2013) had intrigued us to the point where we couldn’t even wrap our heads around who she was and what she stood for. However, that was then and this is now. Her new album, Melodrama (2016), signals a new order in her life.
The album’s first single, “Green Light,” focuses on an ex she can’t shake off and the album’s second song, “Sober” focuses on how partying can take a toll on your mental health and well-being. Despite the two songs being upbeat and more like traditional sounding pop songs, her writing and her focus in life and in music has changed.
As the record progresses, we are introduced to a more serious side of the pop star. “Liability” and “Hard Feelings/Loveless” are two perfect examples of this. In “Liability,” she expresses her desire to be in love with herself and to enjoy the experience of being on her own. In “Hard Feelings/Loveless,” she allows herself to be angry at her ex. In essence, where Pure Heroine was about her teenage experiences - friendships, young love and suburbia - Melodrama focuses on her life post-adolescence so much so that we can almost hear her transition from infantile to adulthood; from the suburbs, to a woman who has heard and seen it all.
Lorde has proven that life experiences make for the best material for a new album. Melodrama is so good, it’s rude, but like most of her stuff, it takes some getting used to; I just hope she doesn’t make us wait another four years for her next album.
- Émeraude Mbuku
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