In Lorde’s Melodrama, Lorde utilizes bright synths, clever rhymes and beautiful piano lines to examine what it’s like to come of age in today’s society, explore the range of emotions accompanying a recent breakup and takes a mature look at how young people choose to live their lives. Lorde shows remarkable levels of maturity, especially in a musical climate where pop artists are content to release bland wisdom in easy-listen, catchy pop melodies.
Lorde’s work stands out against artists like Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran through her ability to look inward at her own life experience, instead of relying on diss tracks to remain relevant or pitting uninteresting observations about the world. Her Melodrama shows that at the age of 20, Lorde has more mature views about herself and the world around her than many of the pop icons that we hear on the radio every day.
The album begins with “Green Light,” a single that introduces many of the themes that will continue to resurface throughout the album. As strong piano chords ring out, she describes doing her makeup in a friend’s car as they head towards a bar. As the track builds, we get the first hint that a past relationship has gone awry, another theme that will continue to be touched on throughout the record. “Green Light” introduces the themes of the album, as well as the musical style. In the hit single, we are introduced to pronounced piano throughout the verses, and a striking electronic sound as the chorus races past.
Throughout the album, Lorde offers a steady critique of the party culture many young college students are quick to embrace. In the second song on the record, “Sober,” Lorde offers an interesting consideration about the “live in the moment” culture encouraged by many pop artists, singing, “What will we do when we’re sober … these are the games of the weekend/ we pretend that we just don’t care/ but we care.” Throughout Melodrama Lorde often contemplates the value of temporary pleasures that often hold young people hostage. She consistently points to the idea that there is something more than these fleeting moments of pleasure.
Lorde also takes a mature look at a past relationship throughout Melodrama. In songs like “Liability” and “Writer in the Dark,” she does more than simply demonize an ex-boyfriend. This group of songs charts her emotions as she moves through the stages of a break-up. In “Liability,” Lorde pours out feelings of sadness over delicate piano chords. The song captures the feelings of inadequacy that often come with a breakup. In “Writer in the Dark,” Lorde eloquently describes the feeling of wanting to better oneself after a relationship and make the other regret their decision to end things.
A few stand-out songs include “Green Light,” “The Louvre,” “Liability,” “Writer in the Dark” and “Supercut”. Throughout the record, Lorde shows a remarkable perspective and ability to analyze her own situation, all at the age of 20. Lorde’s Melodrama is one of the most relatable albums of the year and shows that pop music can be more than uninspired lyrics.