Lorde’s new album is worthy of royalty

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New Zealand artist Lorde breaks into the mainstream with her debut album, Pure Heroine.

Ella Yelich-O’Connor, better known as Lorde, is the first New Zealand artist to have a number one song in the United States, topping charts with her lead single “Royals.”

While most people might only know “Royals” from the radio, the entire album is definitely worth a listen. It’s important to remember that Lorde is only sixteen years old, and while the artist herself seems so much more mature than what you’d expect from a teen sensation, her lyrics explore the not-so-glamorous life of teenagers.

Her sound resembles a slightly more upbeat Lana Del Rey. Lorde’s lyrics are a refreshing contrast to today’s  materialistic radio pop.  Instead of singing about high-class life, she openly sings about the opposite.

The first song on the album, “Tennis Court,” was released as the second single after the success of “Royals.” This song explores both the detached emotion of teenagers and Lorde’s own outlook on her newfound fame, with lyrics like “It’s a new art form showing people how little we care” and “ I fall apart with all my heart/And you can watch from your window.”

“400 Lux” is about bored, in-love teenagers passing time together. The beat is simple and catchy and the lyrics, while also simple, are relatable.

“Royals,” Lorde’s claim to fame, is a song that pokes fun at pop culture while fully embracing a mundane life in the suburbs. The song’s simple drum beat, subtle synthesizer, and layered vocals create a clean and unique sound.

“Buzzcut Season” takes on a slightly different sound from the rest of the album. While the beat is still simple, the melody seems to be lighter. The song itself is about how nice it is to live in ignorance while the world around you is crumbling.

The third single, “Team” is very similar to “Royals” in that it touches upon the lives of everyday teenagers as opposed to the lives that are seen on television.

“Glory and Gore” has a heavy synth beat and is a song about the idolization of violence, saying “Glory and gore go hand in hand/That’s why we’re making headlines.”

“Still Sane,” like “Buzzcut Season” has a lighter beat, but the lyrics of the song deal with Lorde’s new fame and how she’s working with it. Certain teenagers can relate to it, not because they’re famous, but because of the “all work and no play” theme that is exemplified in the lives of high-stress teenagers.

The album’s closing track, “A World Alone” has a more organic feel to it, opening up without an electropop beat, and then building up to something wonderful. It is a strong finish to the album, and it sums up the themes of the album with “You’re my best friend, so we’re dancing in a world alone.”

Pure Heroine is an album with catchy, relatable lyrics and beats that are reminiscent of the minimalist style of The XX. Two of my current favorites from the album are “Ribs” and “Still Sane” and this is definitely an album that I can listen to again and again. While some songs may sound similar, with synth beats, repetitive percussion and layered vocals, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Lorde’s voice works well with the type of music she’s singing and overall the album is well made and unique. It will be interesting to see where this artist goes in terms of her style as she matures.

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