Lorde – Melodrama
Melodrama is a lesson in freefalling. It's taken four years for Ella Yelich-O'Connor to write a follow-up to Pure Heroine, but every single second sounds breathless. Green Light – Lorde's first single of 2017 and the one you've sung in the shower for the past month – repeats, greedily, like a spell: 'I'm waiting for it, that green light, I want it.' A succinct welcome to an album that captures the rise and fall of restless youth in a fluorescent, dazzling city.
Lorde's topped charts, toured the globe, and penned soundtracks for blockbusters. She's had her pick of premier producers, and finally found a partner in Jack Antonoff, whose intuition for an anthem shines raw on the album's many hits. But Melodrama is far more than a career milestone or a savvy collaboration. Over eleven tracks, the narrative weaves, loosely, through the rooms of one house party, one brilliant, bruising night sacrificed to over-indulgence and its aftermath. It's a diary entry, a public confessional, and it documents Yelich-O'Connor's break-up from a formative relationship as much as it teaches self-care and celebrates noisy, messy, creative independence.
From the industrial pinch of Loveless to the stomach-churning obsession on Writer in the Dark, or the superficial joyride of Supercut, Lorde paints her world in neon. Melodrama is overblown sensationalism, and the sound of exposing every single thing without flinching. Every dark thought, every secret hope, every lurking fear, all soundtracked by uncompromising pop maximalism.
On Liability, she offers a glittering half-threat, half-dare, promising: 'You're all gonna watch me disappear into the sun.' Lorde is burning bright and fearless.