Melodrama (Album Review)

Our Lorde and Savior (and critique of all things bourgeois) is back.

The album cover art

I am not much of a clubber or hard-core raver and in fact that’s what captivated me most with Lorde’s debut album Pure Heroine back in 2013. She became the voice for those weekend rager-haters and not a fan of the “boujee bourgeoisie”. With an incredible debut album, all written and composed and produced by the same people, she left me craving more than just the 10 track-album. And as the years went on and the desire for new Lorde music came (she did curate the Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 album), my desire for a more mature and different sound was needing to be satiated. Most mainstream pop artists lack in this department but Lorde… I had faith in her.

And oh does she satiate my thirst for good music… Her sophomore effort, Melodrama, is a loose-concept album of sorts that explores themes of solitude in the setting of a house party including the moods and details that encompass such an evening. She writes of how going out and partying doesn’t necessarily entail losing yourself in the music, booze, and dancing, but also about finding yourself too! She explores the notion and feelings of being high on alcohol and drugs while exploring lust and hedonism, ultimately exploring the come ups and downs of youth in this era. She exhibits fearless honesty, something that I believe lacks in modern-day, Top 40 wannabe hits on mainstream radio. As Nolan Feeney in his review for EW wrote “Lorde makes getting drunk and hooking up sound downright spiritual as she examines her fumbles through adulthood with enviable grace, lacerating honesty, and even humor.”

A screenshot from Lorde’s music video for single “Green Light”

Her second album retains the same wit and charisma found in her lyrics and her analyses of youth culture is there but Melodrama offers a more enjoyable and enticing journey of self-discovery (unlike her debut) amidst the drunken and dancing spirits. What I love most is that she ditches the minimalist, dampened beats of Pure Heroine for a more electronic, dynamic palette for Melodrama, courtesy of Bleacher’s (and ex-fun.) frontman Jack Antonoff (who also worked on a majority of Taylor Swift’s 1989). Together they co-wrote and co-produced all 11 tracks on the album alongside special guest producers and guest writers: Flume, Tove Lo, Joel Little to name a few. Dance-pop tracks exist (“Green Light”, “Homemade Dynamite”), piano ballads (“Liability”) and EDM flavoured (“The Louvre”) sounds exist creating an interesting array of different sounds on an album that is coherent in thought and ideas. The continuity of the style affirms that Lorde is definitely in control of her work, something that many artists in the mainstream lack (albeit Record Labels are to blame in many cases…) The only thing missing here is an visual album to accompany this rollercoaster story. Beyonce may have Lemonade but our Lorde and Savior has Melodrama. – JTS

Grade: A

Best Tracks:

  • Green Light, the herky-jerky, key-changing house rhythm lead single
  • Homemade Dynamite, co-written by Tove Lo, you’ll need every urge of you to not want to blow shit up
  • Perfect Places, you’ll want to cry, chant and dance… all at the same time

Quick Info:

Record Label: Lava, Republic

Released: 16 June 2017

Format(s): CD, Digital Download, Vinyl

Tour (as of writing): Melodrama World Tour (2017-2018) [as of writing]

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