Friday, September 27, 2013

Pure Heroine | Lorde


★★★★★

After appearing out of thin air in the music industry, Lorde is already pressing out a debut album, with amazing results.

All of the songs on Pure Heroine, as well as Lorde's previous extended-play release, The Love Club EP, work on a simple formula: a stripped down instrumental track composed of a drum machine and a few other elements, and wisely-crafted lyrics that forces your inner philosopher to come out of hiding.

Many of Lorde's avid followers (many of which have been obsessing over her since before the success of "Royals," may I add,) have really taken a liking to "Buzzcut Season," a song that is darker sounding, opening with lyrics "I remember when your head caught flame / It kissed your scalp and caressed your brain." I am with those fans, as I love the song, but it isn't my favorite on the album. 


While many fans have been screaming with excitement over "Buzzcut Season," I'm still in awe over the studio version of "Ribs." I loved the live version that I heard from her set on KCRW, but I'm so happy to finally have a studio version to constantly replay.

Like every other song off of Pure Heroine, the lyrics of "Ribs" are intriguing and mystifying; almost every verse ends in "It drives you crazy getting old" or "It feels so scary getting old," while other lyrics pertain to being young and single. Underneath Lorde's voice, edited backing vocals can be heard singing an 'A' vowel, making the song sound somewhat angelic.

Three previously-released songs appear on Pure Heroine: "Tennis Court," "Royals," and "Team." I have already reviewed the latter two, giving them both high marks. However, "Team" has to be my favorite of the three; actually, it's one of my favorites overall from the album. The lyrics of that song center in on being from a small town and wanting to be carefree and full of dreams. "Royals" parallels the same theme, but the overall sound of "Team" makes me lean toward it more.


As a whole, Pure Heroine is now fighting Natalia Kills' Trouble as one of the most cohesive albums that I've heard in the past couple of years. There isn't one song that sticks out on either album, but rather all of the songs work together to create one massive piece of work. While Kills' went with more of an over-produced sound, using the beats of Jeff Bhasker and Emile Haynie, Lorde took a bare-bones approach with her music with one single producer: Joel Little. 

The sound is unique, especially in today's world when the radio is dominated by a large amount of heavy electronic music. I'm not saying that I dislike the electronic music (because I absolutely love it,) but Lorde's sound is too ear-catching to ignore when "Royals" pops up in Top 40 playlists. And it's that unique sound that makes me love the entirety of Pure Heroine so much.

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