Lorde “Pure Heroine”

Lorde "Pure Heroine"



Pure Heroine

[Lava/Republic; 2013]

by Taylor Gilliam

When listening to the dark chic vocals of Lorde’s “Royals,” it’s hard to believe they come from someone so young furthering the bewilderment is that Ella Yelich-O’Connor—the sixteen-year-old New Zealander behind the project—writes all of her own lyrics, lines filled with talk of excess rather than exes and heavy issues instead of  the hackneyed topics of her peers.  Her studio album, Pure Heroine, dropped on Monday, and its sultry sound is indeed heroic in the modern pop defined by One Direction and the like.

The album begins with “Tennis Court:” ambient background, a melodious ticking clock-type sound, and the question posed, “Don’t you think it’s boring how people talk?”  From the get go, Lorde proves she does not fit the cookie cutter model of a pop princess.  In Hollywood, she is at the center of the very world that makes its money based on what people talk about; rather than revel in her fame, she is almost sad to be a part of it.  In “Glory And Gore,” she likens the cutthroat lifestyle of glamour to primal gladiator fights; “Still Sane” ponders how life on the road could drive her crazy.  However, she can separate fantasy from reality, “driving Cadillacs in our dreams” (“Royals”) from “it feels so scary getting old” (“Ribs”).

Beyond her own life, Lorde’s realistic approach extends into topics on which not even people twice her age are educated.  It’s as if she has already left the party phase society has come to expect from teens, stating “I’m kind of over getting told to throw my hands up in the air” in “Team.”  Instead, she discusses the portrayal of war in the media, the Gatsby-era opulence with which everyone is so obsessed and tries to emulate, and the trials of growing older.  Pair her lyrics with her age-old dead-on stare, and the chills are inevitable.

Lorde is “in love with being queen,” and her throne is much deserved.  She presides over pop, yet she rules with an edgy fist and a focused intensity.  Her words are the crown jewels.  In short, Pure Heroine is pure genius. Check it out for yourself.


Standout Tracks: “Team” “A World Alone”