>> Lorde, prodigal 20-year-old popular music icon out of New Zealand, just dropped her second full-length album. Melodrama, while eclectic in its sounds library, is vocally stale and selfishly themed. I can’t help but smell a whiff of the pop-formula of attempting to keep lyrics simple and repetitive enough to appease a mass of millennials and below.
The album as a whole makes use of such a vast array of different sounds. The abstract shrieks and ambient percussion in Hard Feelings, the lush full string sections of Sober II (Melodrama) and the trap-like dance beats of Supercut are each evidence that nothing was left un-sampled.
The album isn’t entirely about noise, however; At the end of the day, Lorde did show part of her inner singer-songwriter throughout Melodrama. The songs Liability and Writer in the Dark are both simple piano pieces that reflect on her supposed writing process: piano and paper.
The order of the songs seemed to be a strategic move; If listened to in order, there is a beautiful sense of change-ups. Each song is notably different from the last in its composition and production.
This album immediately throws content at the listener that makes it apparent that it will be picked clean of its most popular songs by streaming services and radio stations to appeal to a wide audience. The songs that were produced most heavily are just catchy enough that they’re never unpleasant in the background of everyday activities, while remaining just deep enough to appeal to an audience that appreciates relatable vocals.
The lyrics are also the least of the problem when it comes to the album’s vocals. Lorde was open and honest with us in her lyrical content, but its delivery did not live up to the name of the album itself. This go around, she spent more time using punctuated conversational flow in her verses than delivering a meaningful melody that makes the listener feel what she is attempting to express in her words. It would have been nice to hear her pushing the envelope a little more with some of her vocal tracks.
In short, Lorde has proved herself to be quite the successful popular artist. Based on the amount of times that Royals has played on countless “alternative” and pop radio stations, listeners may have seen this coming. Melodrama shows the world that Lorde is still capable of whipping up decent content, but mostly that she still chooses to work with great talent in terms of engineers and producers. It’s diverse, it’s fun and its hits will surely please the average commuter each morning for months to come. 3.9/5 <<