By: Sarah DeNunzio//
The wait is over: Lorde finally dropped her highly anticipated sophomore album, Melodrama, last Friday, June 16th. It has been four years since Lorde burst into the music scene with her album Pure Heroine at just sixteen years old. The album spawned hit single, “Royals,” which won two Grammys for Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance. Pure Heroine solidified Lorde as one of today’s most promising artists. Now, at twenty years old, Lorde is proving her longevity as an artist; Melodrama is no sophomore slump.
Melodrama has a few central themes. Now that Lorde has graduated from her teenage years to young adulthood, she presents more maturity on Melodrama. A majority of the album is about the joys and pitfalls of Lorde’s young adulthood: partying, a past relationship with an ex boyfriend, and personal insecurities.
The album opens with “Green Light,” the first single released off of Melodrama. It’s a perfect, feel-good song that sounds great when you blast it in your car with the windows down, a very fitting first single for Melodrama. Next up is “Sober,” the fourth and final song that was pre-released from the album the week prior. This song highlights the theme of partying and what many young adults experience at parties: a drunken moment with the opposite sex. Lorde ponders if such a thing would happen if they weren’t under the influence, “We’re King and Queen of the weekend/ain’t a pill that could touch our rush/but what will we do when we’re sober?”
The third song is “Homemade Dynamite,” which Lorde debuted at her Coachella set for the first time back in April. Again, this song follows the theme of partying and the feel-good moments that occur at parties. “Our friends, our drinks, we get inspired/Blowing shit up with homemade d-d-d-dynamite,” she sings in the chorus. “The Louvre” follows, and is my personal favorite song on the album. This song is about Lorde’s ex-boyfriend and shows her reflecting on the happiness she felt at the peak of their relationship; she uses the famous Louvre museum in France as a metaphor. “They’ll hang us in the Louvre/down the back, but who cares — still the Louvre.” The chorus is a repeating phrase, “Broadcast the boom boom boom boom and make ’em all dance to it.” The “boom boom boom boom” here refers to her heartbeat and happiness.
“Liability,” the second single released from Melodrama, is a beautiful ballad about Lorde’s personal insecurities. “Hard Feelings/Loveless” is about her breakup with her ex-boyfriend. “Hard Feelings” describes the breakup and Lorde’s personal recovery from it. “I light all the candles/Cut flowers for all my rooms/I care for myself the way I used to care about you,” she sings in the chorus, proving that she has taken the health and happiness that she used to give to her ex back to herself. “Loveless” is a sarcastic song calling out the millennial generation for being “loveless,” as in, millennials only want to hook up and nothing more. She emphasizes the feeling of a brief connectedness that millennials covet from these hookups, and classifies herself as one of those people. In a sense, she’s saying she just wants to have fun when it comes to relationships, and so do many other millennials.
“Sober II (Melodrama)” is a continuation of the story told in “Sober.” While “Sober” was about the highs that are felt during a party and a one-night stand, “Sober II (Melodrama)” is a more reflective song about the emptiness that follows. “Know you won’t remember in the morning when I speak my mind/Lights are on and they’ve gone home, but who am I?”
“Writer in the Dark” is another song that Lorde wrote for her ex. She reaffirms that she still cares for him, but has vowed to move on. In the chorus, she sings to her ex about the downsides of dating a singer/songwriter, “Bet you rue the day you kissed a writer in the dark/Now she’s gonna play and sing and lock you in her heart.” It’s a beautiful ballad and one of the standout tracks on the album.
“Supercut” is Lorde’s way of idealizing a relationship and her realization that her own previous relationship, despite having some positive moments, was not ideal. “We keep trying to talk about us/I’m someone you maybe might love… But it’s just a supercut of us.” A supercut is a term used to describe a video montage; in this case, Lorde is associating it with her memories.
“Liability (Reprise)” is the follow-up to “Liability.” Lorde still believes she is a liability in relationships, but she also seems to come to the conclusion that parties aren’t perfect. This leads right into the album’s final song, “Perfect Places,” where she decides that parties are filled with people trying to escape to these “perfect places” but “What the fuck are perfect places anyway?” She asks in the chorus.
Melodrama is an album that will resonate with many young adults. It pushes the boundaries of what we think of as typical pop music. Lorde proves that she is a force to be reckoned with. There really is no other artist quite like her in the pop music world. The only thing we wish Melodrama had more of is more tracks! It will easily be hailed as one of the best albums of 2017.
Lorde also announced on album release day that she is going on a world tour in support of Melodrama. Keep an eye on her website for dates and ticket announcements.