Lorde’s Melodrama is an intimate, electro-pop masterpiece


After a four year wait, New Zealander pop singer Lorde has finally released her sophomore album, Melodrama. Electro-pop beats are balanced with intimate lyrics and her distinctive, raspy, witchy vocals.

When Lorde released “Green Light” — her first single in years — in March, it signaled a slight turn in her signature style. Low piano tones accompanied fast-paced vocalizations of lyrics about That Ex (the one you can never seem to shake). It instantly became a fan-favorite and built immediate hype for the release of Melodrama.

Three months later, Melodrama is available to the masses. It’s intimate. It’s electro-pop. Somehow, it’s both of those things at once. The marriage between Lorde’s signature vocals — raspy and witchy, sometimes downright warbling — and the intense song production is a masterpiece.

Tracks like “The Louvre” and “Hard Feelings/Loveless” recall the borderline-sultry sound of Lorde’s debut, Pure Heroine. There’s a slow-rolling undercurrent of tension that builds through the entire album, peppered with raw, emotional confessions in tracks like “Liability” and “Liability (Reprise)”.

"So I guess I’ll go homeInto the arms of the girl that I loveThe only love I haven’t screwed upShe’s so hard to pleaseBut she’s a forest fireI do my best to meet her demandsPlay at romance, we slow danceIn the living room, but all that a stranger would seeIs one girl swaying aloneStroking her cheek— Lorde, “Liability” (Melodrama, 2017)"

At 20, she’s as emotional as she was at 16, but her brazenness is refreshing. Melodrama dives into what it feels like to be young and experiencing a whole mess of emotions. It rips the band-aid off and lets the wounds bleed freely. From break-ups to dishonesty to depressive episodes, Lorde bares it all. The entire time, she maintains the poetic, catchy lyrical riffs that shot her to stardom.

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Melodrama is aptly titled. It borders on over-produced but never quite crosses that line, solely because Lorde’s lyrics are so solid. Sophomore albums are often a test of an artist’s staying power. With Melodrama, Lorde proves that she’s in it for the long haul.