Lorde: Melodrama (Republic/Lava) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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For artists like Lorde who kicked off their career with a legendary record, the anxiety surrounding the sophomore slump is usually there. But Ella Yelich-O’Connor has managed to bypass that notion with the follow-up to her 2013 debut Pure Heroine. On Melodrama, everything down to the surreal cover art mirroring Joni Mitchell’s Blue shows it’s meant to be iconic. With her second full-length, Lorde examines being alone and what that really means: the 11-track album explores a yearning for teenage love, a nostalgic look at heartbreak and growing up. While singles like “Liability” and “Sober” felt like puzzle pieces initially, the release of Melodrama reveals a cohesive narrative that’s intended to be heard.

Lorde herself said that Melodrama was at a high-level a concept album based around the emotions surrounding a partythe highs, the lows, the drunken hookups, the reckless decisions, and the resulting loneliness. This time around she brought in friend and producer Jack Antonoff (Bleachers) who added his flair for anthemic Springsteen-esque melodies (“Green Light,” Supercut”). Through haunting choirs (“Homemade Dynamite”) and bursting trumpet interludes (“Sober”), Lorde runs the gamut of the teenage experience. From loneliness (“All of our heroes fading/Now I can’t stand to be alone”) to the trouble with fame (“Hated hearing my name on the lips of a crowd/Did my best to exist just for you”), she analyzes her past relationship with her longtime boyfriend and the questionable choices she’s made on the way to being comfortable with who she is alone.

Melodrama‘s swirls of strings and bursts of glimmering synths show a pop star in her prime. Between rage, elation, and all of the mistakes in-between, Lorde is more self-aware than she’s ever been. It’s not easy being a teenage girl, but instead of dwelling on her life choices and experiences, Lorde chooses to grow from them. And you can’t help but admire her for that. (www.lorde.co.nz)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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