Album review: Lorde – Melodrama

Lorde, arguably the most relatable pop star in the world, has dropped her sophomore record entitled Melodrama. Emerging in 2013, Lorde appeared as a quirky young character singing of the excitement of youth, and the tribulations of growing up in a small town on “Pure Heroin”. Fast forward a few years and Melodrama expands on the personable thematic qualities of Lorde’s debut, but with an extroverted grandeur.

Whilst presenting itself as a breakup record, there is a deeper layer to it. We are reminded that we are all volatile, ready to blow at any time as in “Homemade Dynamite”, but ultimately we are beautiful and will get through any challenges life throws our way. This is a celebration of what it means to be human, motivating us to follow our aspirations no matter stands in our way.

There is an unfiltered honesty in Lorde’s lyricism. Contrasting most chart pop that has the high for the weekend party mentality, “Sober” has a delectable darkness within its pounding danceable bass. Beneath the club-like exterior there is a threatening air of uncertainty, “but what will we do when we’re sober?” explaining how we use alcohol, partying or anything else as a form of escapism but there is an underlying anxiety of what will happen the next day when we return to normality.

The impact of Melodrama as an album comes from not only Lorde’s penmanship and sharp voice but also the superb production of Jack Antonoff. The racing melodies and sparkling synths shape a universe that Lorde gleefully skips through creating a spectacular sound show for listeners. “Green Light” is the first hair-raising moment. It has your heart racing with its gradual increase in pace with the climbing piano resulting in a euphoric hurricane of drums and whirring synths correlating with the message of powering towards that green light goal.

The immaculate pairing of sound with vocals is further demonstrated in the cinematic “Supercut”. Lorde reflects on how she cuts and chooses her memories of past relationships to keep the best parts with her, despite what actually may have happened. The thematic of regret and nostalgia is a concept that is relatable to all of us. The structure of the song feels especially dramatic with shifting synths and the echoes of Lorde’s croons. There is a moment where all Lorde is left exposed, as sonic elements are stripped back briefly highlighting emotional rawness before it lifts up layering her vocals as if we hear the echo inside her head.

“Perfect Places” is the best closer to the album as Lorde questions, “What the fuck are perfect places anyway?” A line that feels representative of her message throughout “Melodrama”. She accepts that there may never be a truly perfect place but we can still move on and have fun.

“Melodrama” teaches us to dance in the face of our demons. With Lorde’s unique vocal capabilities, her captivating stories are scrawled on the page of sweeping grand instrumentals and irresistible thudding beats. As predicted by Lily Allen on Sheezus, “Lorde smells blood, yeah, she’s about to slay you” and oh boy she is. Watch out world, Melodrama is about to take over.

Lorde is set to play Birmingham’s O2 Academy on Sunday October 1st. Tickets are available here.

Kieran Raza

Media and Communications student with a passion for music and discovering new artists. 90% of the time you'll find me at a gig. I listen to a really wide range of artists such as The 1975, Two Door Cinema Club, Bombay Bicycle Club, Ed Sheeran, Disclosure, Lorde, Florence and The Machine, Ben Howard, as well as a tonne of pop music like Taylor Swift and Ellie Goulding.
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Kieran Raza

Media and Communications student with a passion for music and discovering new artists. 90% of the time you'll find me at a gig. I listen to a really wide range of artists such as The 1975, Two Door Cinema Club, Bombay Bicycle Club, Ed Sheeran, Disclosure, Lorde, Florence and The Machine, Ben Howard, as well as a tonne of pop music like Taylor Swift and Ellie Goulding.

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