Lorde have mercy, this album rocks


By Kevin Bartelt

Talent continues to start young as thriving 16-year-old Lorde released her first album, “Pure Heroine,” Friday.

The record was anticipated after the success of her billboard hit “Royals.” The Lana Del Rey-influenced tracks show a modest reflection of the singer’s aspirations for the album.

“The goal for me is to make a body of work that is cohesive, that feels like an album and is something that I going to be proud of,” Lorde said, according to PigeonsandPlanes.com.

Her soothing yet subtle confidence adds a rich tone to “Pure Heroine.” Beside “Royals,” most of the tracks begin with an ambient, free-form feel. Percussion and a grounded structure smoothly intertwine throughout each track. The opening song, “Tennis Court,” touches on a personal note for Lorde.

“The tennis court was just kind of a symbol of nostalgia for me,” Lorde said, according to VH1.com. “It was something that was familiar and safe to me. The rest of the song is about the rest of the changes in my life at the moment….”

Lorde opens up to her audience as she clashes the simplistic tennis court with her quickly progressing life. Listeners can appreciate the struggles of building a new life rather than knocking it down like a wrecking ball. “Tennis Court” takes a respectably relaxed approach to pop music.

“Buzzcut Season” contains an easygoing synthesizer part. The drums add a vivacious beat under the keyboard, setting Lorde up for success. This track is one of the many examples of Lorde softly combining poetry and melody. She sings “We ride the bus with the knees pulled in. People should see how we’re living.” Lorde depicts how people act one way but express another. “Buzzcut Season” shows nothing is aggressive or forceful on “Pure Heroine.”

“Royals” is a concentrated melodic powerhouse. The song hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts in New Zealand and the United States. Lorde performed it on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” Tuesday. This was Lorde’s first performance in the States.

“Royals” soars hand in hand with dynamic harmonies. Where many pop hits don’t take advantage of harmony, Lorde makes up for all of their mistakes. This song has basic instrumentation with only an electronic drumset and synthesizer. Fortunately, these two instruments are all the song and artist needs. The lack of instruments shows a testament to Lorde as a musician. She doesn’t need nine layers to cover up anything. The track accurately reflects her quality of vocal capability.

Despite sturdy musicianship, the album still lacks variety. Of the 10 tracks, seven begin without strong structure and progress into a song with form and shape. Lorde needs to ease up on each song starting cloudy and gray and begin more tracks with definition. One of the three songs that start with structure is her successful “Royals.” Perhaps her producer should experiment with more percussion.