Lorde returns after a four-year hiatus with her ambitious, highly-anticipated sophomore album, ‘Melodrama.’ The results are superb.
A mature, 20-year old, Lorde expands her on her sophomore album, Melodrama. Following up a juggernaut – “Royals” and Pure Heroine as a whole – isn’t easy, but Lorde handles the challenge masterfully. Melodrama ends up being one of the most intriguing albums of 2017.
“Green Light” served as a departure for Lorde, giving her a fresh start. She doesn’t sound particularly smooth vocally, but her raspy tone is appealing. Her intensity is a selling point, as she shows feistiness from the onset. After delivering the pre-chorus in her lower register, everything comes together on the infectious chorus. The production rocks.
“Sober” is a mysterious, but captivating record. The verse is produced sparingly, accompanied by subtle synths and groove. On the pre-chorus, she wants to dance. By the chorus, there is overabundant fun. One of the best features is the brass. Excellent vocal production is a pro.
The slickly-produced “Homemade Dynamite” is a treat. Lorde meets someone who she likes, but doesn’t know, and from there, melodrama begins. The chorus exceptionally illustrates how it goes down. Chalk it up to youth, a prevalent theme that continues on the dramatic “The Louvre.” Lorde and her boo are caught up in young, dangerous love. The lyrics are poetic, embracing the alt-pop sensibilities soundly. She knows it’s risky and superficial, but being young, she’s willing to “Blow all my friendships / To sit in hell with you.”
“Liability” is a reflective ballad with singer-songwriter sensibilities written all over it. The lyrics are incredibly poetic and thoughtfully performed. Lorde focuses on her smokier lower register, accentuating the melodrama. The production work is conservative, led by piano sans percussion. Regardless, the overall result is nothing short of beautiful. Lyrically, Lorde sings about being too high maintenance and how it’s ruined her relationships. Ultimately, she knows what she wants, and she has herself.
With “Hard Feelings /Loveless,” Lorde drops the popular two-part song. “Hard Feelings” depicts the break-up. On, “Loveless,” she describes the perception of millennial love as dysfunctional. “Sober II (Melodrama)” follows, contrasting the original. Dramatic strings help to elevate the melodrama. Ballad “Writer in the Dark” is directed at an ex. From the jump, she has mixed feelings. She’s clearly upset the relationship is over, but intends to move on.
“Supercut” smartly increases the tempo, finding Lorde reliving the wild relationship through a supercut. Essentially, the relationship seems to be overvalued – shallower and less glamorous than it is viewed from the participants’ perspective. On “Liability (Reprise),” she finally comes to the realization that he’s not all that. She begins as the liability, but shifts the characterization to him.
“Perfect Places” concludes Melodrama superbly. It opens with a sense of mysteriousness – the party vibe. This sentiment comes through clearly on the first verse. The second verse confirms the carefree, party vibes, in a sexually-charged manner. Spare production work on the verses allows her voice to shine. A grand chorus is bright and energetic.
All in all, Lorde makes a superb return with Melodrama. After a four-year hiatus, the alternative-pop artist returns soundly, delivering one of the most intriguing albums of 2017 without question. She successfully executes the concept. Melodrama, hence, is a gem.
If you’d like to read the full-fledged analysis of The Nashville Sound, check out Lorde, Melodrama | Album Review on The Musical Hype.
Gems: “Green Light,” “Sober,” “Homemade Dynamite,” “Liability” & “Perfect Places”
Lorde • Melodrama • Republic • Release: 6.17.17
Photo Credit: Republic