- 2:54 pm - Sun, Oct 6, 2013
- 5 notes
Under pseudonym Lorde, Ella Yelich-O’Connor has exploded over night. With the success of single “Royals”, she has burst into the mainstream of pop consciousness. With her debut LP Pure Heroine, it’s ironic that she’s breaking through with a distinctly anti-pop mentality.
From the jump, Lorde is stubborn-clad in her deflection of fame’s disorienting light. The opener “Tennis Court” rips into the delusions of grandeur:
Because I’m doing this for the thrill of it, killin’ it
Never not chasing a million things I want
'Cause I am only as young as the minute is full of it
Getting pumped up from the little bright things I bought
But I know they’ll never own me
It is possible that Lorde radiates the internet age of cynicism, but her glaring perception and wit shines on this song and several others admirably. On the anti-bling smash “Royals”, she deftly pieces together a baller mosaic and shatters it with a hook that stays grounded as her voices soars. Rocking dimly light hip-hop sensibilities, Royals is evident that she has studied the game and she is acutely aware of fame’s pressures. Sinking into a swell of isolation on “Still Sane”, Lorde reality-checks herself every 6 seconds, promising to stay grounded, stay hungry and stay up on the new shit.
In other subject matter, Lorde directs her daggers at the delusion of teenage culture around her. Lorde targets staples of the millennial, taking down vanity on “White Teeth Teens”, shaking the complacent apathy of youth on “Buzzcut Season” and deals with lovers’ hearsay of “A World Alone”. At 17, her song writing is impressively accomplished. Her songs definitely have something to say, even if they feel a bit juvenile at times. It’s not that her songs feel utterly fluff in this regard, it’s simply that she has room to grow, mature and temper some of the themes she speaks of (which also limited to some extent).
Lorde’s voice is rich and seeps into every crevice of each mix on Pure Heroine. Overdubbing her voice works strikingly well throughout because of fantastic range. Honest, full and deep Lorde already has one of the best voices in popular music at large. Her voice stands out even further because of the synthpop, chillwave sensibilities found throughout the instrumentation on the album. Hip-hop drums, 80s dance synths with a modern sheen are paired down with strong minimalism. It all works well sonically, but a little extra punch in the percussion department would have been welcome. Not necessarily, a deal breaker by any means, but some extra grit would have been nice.
Lorde’s debut LP is focused, cohesive and consistent. Pure Heroine is a mighty effort from a remarkably young artist that defies the millennial image of laziness perpetuated by crotchety 30-40 somethings. Much like strong records by other young artists such as Earl Sweatshirt, King Krule and Chance The Rapper, Lorde is lightening spritely fire under bigger, more established names and gunning for top pop spots.