Nearly a year after releasing her hit EP The Love Club, New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde has managed to build a widespread and palpable buzz in the notoriously fatigued pop genre.
Under the “pop” label, Lorde is unfairly roped in with tired acts like Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift, but the 16-year-old has caused remarkable tidal shifts with her penetrating vocal abilities and lyrical maturity.
“Royals,” the catchy single released earlier this year, has already garnered Lorde international attention, fostering a level of anticipation for her debut album normally reserved for established artists.
To the delight of fans and critical hopefuls, Pure Heroine not only fulfills those expectations, but solidifies the teen artist as an extraordinary talent with striking vocal maturity.
Charged with a minimal, yet stylized production and dreamy electro-pop tracks, Pure Heroine delivers smart, solid music marked by lyrical sophistication.
The album opens with the heavily synthesized “Tennis Court,” a song paying irreverent salutation to the social hierarchy found in every high school hall. “Everything’s cool when we’re all in line for the throne,” she coos, “but I know it’s not forever.” The catchy electronic beat packs enough commercial punch to position the track alongside “Royal” as a hit single.
Lorde proves her talent for contemporary electro-pop with upbeat tracks like “Million Dollar Bills” and “Team,” which offer insight into her lyrically mature songwriting skills. That talent is also evident on “A World Alone,” where she intelligently weaves a unifying rally cry against the defeatist majority.
But perhaps the crowning achievement on the record is the poignant and emotionally charged “Ribs,” a synth-driven track that reveals an endearing vulnerability. “This dream isn’t feeling sweet,” she sings. “We’re reeling through the midnight streets/And I’ve never felt more alone/It feels so scary getting old.”
Pure Heroine does falter on the simple and lackluster “White Teeth Teens,” an underwhelming track revealing Lorde’s sophomoric side. This track suggests the young songstress ultimately does have room to grow.
Despite the fact that much of the lyrical content in the album is wrought with the muddled feelings of adolescence, the prose is mature. Pure Heroine is characterized by the pitfalls associated with adolescence, and the tracks reveal a young girl grappling with change and exploring her place in the world.
With her full-length debut, Lorde has crafted a remarkable and distinct sound shaped by seasoned composition, cementing her place as a formidable talent. This no doubt launches the young artist into a league unmatched by her contemporaries, and boasts promise for even greater work ahead.
Lorde – Pure Heroine tracklist:
- “Tennis Court”
- “400 Lux”
- “Buzzcut Season”
- “Glory And Gore”
- “Still Sane”
- “White Teeth Teens”
- “A World Alone”