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Summer Hits 2017: Lorde’s “Melodrama” review

by Chandler Patrick, Editor-in-Chief

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Title: Melodrama

Record Label: Lava Records

Release Date: June 16

Rating: 10/10

 

With four years having passed since her debut album, Pure Heroine, Lorde returns better than ever with her new album, Melodrama. No longer a scared, timid teenager that just happened to become one of the biggest names in music, Lorde goes through her own metamorphosis in her sophomore album while still gently touching on the roots that made her famous.

Gracious and effortless in capturing emotion, Lorde only escalates from her previous mastery in lyrics and making a distinct meaning and connection in her songs. She does truly transforms from that bratty sixteen-year-old in detention for her attitude to a young woman battling through her first year of adulthood. Now 20, her true mastery comes through in all its glory, making her second album nearly on par with her first.

The album explores Lorde’s personal study and findings of being a young woman in today’s society, with romance only being a highlight and refreshingly anything but the main idea. Songs like “Green Light” and “Supercut” are the perfect cruising-down-the-PCH-with-the-top-down songs, seemingly built into your summer playlist already. On the other hand, songs like “Homemade Dynamite” and “The Louvre” slow it down with a more relaxed beat, revitalizing the listener in between the bigger hits, with a forced emphasis on the lyricism.

“Liability” features raw, pure piano keys in harmony with Lorde’s haunting voice, singing about learning to explore and love herself. The reprise that appears later on the soundtrack, which is typical of a musical yet fitting with the album name, meaning being “over dramatic” or “too dramatic,” compliments its counterpart perfectly. The lyrics are relatable for a struggling teen, coming back full circle to embracing herself and the quirks that come along with her defiant personality. The artist spoke out in an interview with Beats 1 Radio about the song, saying she was “proud of this bit of songwriting,” feeling “[She] is always gonna have [herself] so [she] has to really nurture this relationship and feel good about hanging out with [herself] and loving [herself].”

The song is also a perfect sister to the eighth song “Writer in the Dark”, which just gives straight goosebumps with her paradox of a voice: coarse yet smooth, haunting yet dreamy. Her raw emotion comes out between both of these songs, so much so that you can feel it within your own veins.

“Hard Feelings/Loveless” is not only a personal favorite, but one of the more powerful albums on the track, mirroring “Royals” or “Glory and Gore” from Pure Heroine while stilling having its own uniqueness behind it.

“Sober II (Melodrama)” seems to mask Lorde’s voice unlike previous songs where her raw emotion came through, but it illustrates the focal point of her album, providing a stark contrast between letting herself loose and hiding behind a heart-thumping, bass-heavy beat.

The album tops off with “Perfect Places,” a groundbreaking final message to Lorde and the album’s purpose: the teenage life is anything but perfect, with intentional screw-ups that teach us valuable lessons as we progress, and even though things like sex and drugs may seem euphoric, the experiences that usually accompany them are not. Coupled with a deep and catchy beat, the song is one of the more important ones released.

In general, if your foot isn’t tapping to songs like “Sober” or “Supercut,” your heart isn’t heavy from songs like “Liability” or “Writer in the Dark,” or “Hard Feelings/Loveless” hasn’t already been added to your nighttime wind-down playlist, you aren’t fully embracing the masterpiece that is presented before you. Lorde has truly shown her artistry with music with her debut Pure Heroine, but has now extended the genius through her sophomore album. With eight out of the eleven songs being added into my most-listened to music library, I’d say the album is more than worth your time.

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Summer Hits 2017: Lorde’s “Melodrama” review