Lorde Melodrama album review: Emotional, popsy and perfect for the monsoon
Ella Yelich-O'Connor was shy of turning 17 when she hit gold with her first album Pure Heroine.
Her darkly caustic lyrics and sharp production gave the young New Zealander a ticket to Hollywood and fame. After sharp singles like 'Royals' which talked about romance with a take on socioeconomic background, and the tragically doomed teen romance of 'Tennis Court', Lorde is back with a new album Melodrama.
The question is simple — after a hugely internationally successful stint with the first album, will her second album live upto its glory, or will it sink into nothingness — because it is not what people expected it to be?
In Melodrama, Lorde reworks what would be the quintessential breakup album, suited more to Taylor Swift, and turns her 11 tracks into more of a poetic melody. You can say she is the equivalent of what Frank Ocean is to R&B; she is incredibly choosy about her song list, she puts intense effort into her lyrics which make her songs poetic and releases an album once in half a decade.
The album was recorded over a course of 18 months alongside co-producer and writer, Jack Antonoff. Antonoff was also the man who helped Taylor Swift (who is best friends with Lorde) with her album 1989.
The album opens up with the first single Lorde released from the album. Titled 'Green Light' the song can be constructed as a typical breakup song on the first listen ('I do my makeup in somebody else's car/ We order different drinks at the same bar'), but new, interesting details about the lyrics emerge as you listen to it again and again on loop (Those great whites, they have big teeth, Oh they bite you, Thought you said that you would always be in love, But you're not in love no more').
It's a great star to the album, but not the best. Nonetheless, here's the first song:
The second song, 'Sober' is a great party hit with its electronic beats and echoing chorus, but doesn't quite work with the rest of the album. 'Liability' too takes on the same framework with the repetitive chorus and beats.
What takes the album good from amazing are the songs 'The Louvre' and 'Homemade Dynamite'.
'The Lourve's beauty lies in its instrumental composition. As this Slate reviewer points out, the song is beautifully reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen's 'Born to Run' with overtones of a whirling car engine coupled with its lyrics.
The song 'Homemade Dynamite' shines with its unique musical composition. It has a very Katy Perry-esque pop tone to it, but with an R&B beat and repetitive chorus.
'Writer in the Dark' and 'Supercut' are impressive because of the simple lyrics which may strike a very emotional cord with the millennial audience. They are also strangely reminiscent of something a 90s pop-ballad songstress would croon.
Melodrama is way more emotional and less cynical. Yes, it is a breakup album, but it has the brilliance of her jarring lyrics combined with the musical perfection that never ceases to surprise you with its electronic beats.
It's also the perfect seasonal album to listen to — plug in your headphones, get a cup of chai and listen to the 11 songs of Melodrama as rains pour from the cloudy, grey skies.