One of the most highly anticipated albums of 2017 is the second LP from New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde.
Following the commercial success of her smash hit “Royals” and subsequent debut album, Pure Heroine, Lorde was catapulted to stardom as a teenager. Now 20 years old, the singer explores the depths of heartache and loneliness on Melodrama.
The Melodrama LP was recorded from 2015 to 2017, evolving from songwriting that began at the end of 2013 and following the singer’s breakup with a boyfriend in 2015. Produced by Jack Antonoff out of his home studio in New York City, the album features 11 songs covering 41 minutes.
The word melodrama means, “a sensational dramatic piece with exaggerated characters and exciting events intended to appeal to the emotions,” which is appropriate for this album, concerning itself with teenage drama and filled with bombastic beats — perhaps lacking some of the musical subtlety of her early work.
Lorde has said that the album revolves around partying, telling the USA Today that, “[A night out] is a really interesting metaphor for young adulthood and encapsulated all of the emotions that I wanted to cover.” She revealed more about that range of emotions in an interview with New York Times:
With a party, there’s that moment where a great song comes on and you’re ecstatic… and then there’s that moment later on where you’re alone in the bathroom, looking in the mirror, you don’t think you look good, and you start feeling horrible.
There are upbeat electro-pop moments in tracks like the lead single, “Green Light.” The second song, “Sober,” sets a smokey and sultry vibe. Jack Antonoff’s skill as a producer shines in “The Louvre,” which contains layered soundscapes and vocals. Lorde allows her vocals to be vulnerable and emotional in the piano-driven “Lullaby,” and the 6+ minute “Hard Feelings/Loveless” creates a natural break in the album.
“Sober II (Melodrama)” and “Writer In The Dark” highlight the organic side to Lorde’s music, with beautiful piano and strings supporting her gifted vocals. The following song, “Supercut,” is another synth-driven dancefloor anthem. “Liability (Reprise),” with its mellow beats, is a complete change from “Liability,” which appears five songs earlier on the LP. “Perfect Places” brings the album to a close with an anthemic chorus and pop-friendly rhythm.
Lorde is proving to be more than just a flash in the pan. Melodrama shows the versatility and emotional power of the singer, but it is not a perfect album. Many of the songs have slow tempos, and none of them have the infectious pop hooks and wry sense of humor in “Royals.”
Recently, Lorde added 2017-2018 world tour dates in the United States and Canada.
For more, check out Lorde’s Zumic artist page.