7 Jul 2022

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Lorde - Pure Heroine Album Review

13 Oct 2013 // A review by Dilemma

Let’s get a few things out of the way, yes Lorde is young, she is from NZ, yes you can compare her to Lana Del Rey or Florence Welsh but you shouldn’t, and yes pretty much everyone has heard her song Royals. Regardless of preference of genre and despite various musical tastes everyone loves Royals, it cuts across boundaries and genres creating a new hybrid of hip-pop mania with dark and brooding alt. undertones. Yes you will all love her debut album Pure Heroine just as much as Royals. I don’t have to write this review in a way to sell this album to you - You should buy it because she is 16 and she is from NZ, because it is inspiring to be the first solo female artist to hold the number one spot on Billboards alternative chart and because she writes her own lyrics and wears a lot more clothes on stage than most of her counterparts. Spin it a few times and let it resonate with you.

Lorde has found a way to make music that is entirely of the moment as it fuses low alluring vocals, and lyrical maturity while meshing traditional pop with hip hop beats. The result is unpretentious, Lorde and her producer/co-writer, Joel Little strip away the vocal processing, minimise production and create a sparse arrangement with ironic lyrics that are anti-consumerist and novel; like when a little white girl is singing about counting dollars on the train and sipping Cristal. Basically, the album is almost an extension of Royals, as each song seems to branch out of intelligently criticizing modern society and pop culture.

Tennis Court starts things off, with heavy synthesizers, booming bass and a gleeful swagger that precedes a tongue-in-cheek yet catchy "Yeah!" after each verse. The second track 400 Lux which was a stand out song for me when playing this album the first time. The song opens with the whine of a siren and picks up into the cool, bare bass beat that’s Lorde’s signature. Its simple its earnest, it’s a bit of a love song. Ribs has a hedonistic but vulnerable dreamlike sequence attached to it. Buzzcut Season displays Lorde’s ability to fly wistfully off vocally while the production is there to anchor her.  I would have to say that by the time Glory and Gore came around the sound doesn’t reinvent itself, it maybe even becomes more synth driven and hollow. While I enjoy the low register, there is a part of me that is so accustom to a song building and then delivering something extra-ordinary that I almost miss it, until the spirited cries of the hook in Glory and Gore which are pretty infectious. The album closes with three of its strongest tracks, the continuation of the vocally smokey Still Sane, the brash White Teeth Teens, and A World Alone, the final and most conventionally roaring upbeat dance track.

Suffice to say Lorde isn’t an artist that lingers in any comfort zone for long. She’s smashed pop, she’s demolished alt.rock, she’s doing a good job of thrashing hip hop and already she’s looking for some new lyrical/musical experience while everyone else is still trying to catch up. I can’t wait to see what musical genius will come out of her next.

Pure Heroine
View Track Listing

About Lorde

In 2013, a 16-year-old Lorde quietly, yet confidently asserted herself as the voice of a generation with her full-length debut, Pure Heroine. The album would go triple-platinum, win two GRAMMY® Awards, and spawn the certified Diamond, record-breaking, international juggernaut single, Royals, and quadruple-platinum follow up Team. The former cemented Lorde as "the youngest solo artist and the only New Zealander to achieve #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 since 1987".

Time exalted her amongst the 'Most Influential Teenagers in the World', she landed on Forbes’s '30 Under 30' List, graced the cover of Rolling Stone and performed alongside Nirvana during the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. She also curated the official soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and recorded Yellow Flicker Beat as the lead single.

In 2017 Lorde released her second full-length studio album, Melodrama which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 Chart, making her the first ever NZ artist to land a #1 debut album in the United States. The album reached #1 in over 45 countries and earned Lorde a nomination for Album of the Year at the 2018 GRAMMY® Awards.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Lorde


Solar Power
Year: 2021
Type: Album
Te Ao Marama
Year: 2021
Type: EP
Year: 2017
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
The Love Club
Year: 2013
Type: EP
Pure Heroine
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape

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