Lorde returns after four years (hopefully she takes a smaller gap next time) with fun (somewhat alternative) pop songs. First listen, I was fairly underwhelmed by the album, but it did grow on me on subsequent listens. There are definitely weaker songs on here such as as Green Light, both the Sober songs, Homemade Dynamite, and Perfect places, but other stronger ones, such as The Louvre (even though the lyric /Broudcast the boom boom boom/ makes me cringe just a little bit, but the cheeky lyric /They’ll hang us in the Louvre/
Down the back, but who cares – still the Louvre/ makes up for it ) and Supercut. However, I’d much rather talk about the definite highlights on this album.
The piano ballad of Liability contains probably the best lyrics on the album. A song that suggests that she may have lost a past boyfriend because all of her rising fame, but she finds (some) peace in continuing to love herself. It’s sad, moving, and a great twist on the typical love song.
The overall highlight of the album, though, would hands down have to be Hard Feelings/Loveless. It has an instrumental section between the two parts of the song that’s got discordant scratching, like pipes sliding against each other, and its the most adventurous and left-field part of the album, and I wish Lorde would have explored this sound a bit more. Also, Lorde’s cutesy refrain /Bet you want to rip my heart out/ Well guess what I like that/ is absolutely great.
At the end we hear Liability again but with more boopitys, boppitys and bippitys. An electronic version of the piano ballad version basically. (As a side note, I’ve never really understood reprises, why do I want to hear a usually slower, slightly different version of the a song I heard only several tracks earlier?)
The album closes on Perfect Places, a perfectly (heh) capable pop song to finish the album on. The opening vocals of this track /Everynight I live and die/ is definitely the highlight of the track.
It’s a confident sounding sophomore album, but not entirely a better one, the sparse production that defined Lorde’s first is (disappointingly) absent, replaced with a fuller, but sometimes more commercial (I don’t really wish to describe the music as commercial, but it feels like the most apt word) sound. If anything I’m curious what direction she’ll take next, hopefully an overall more adventurous one.
Favourites: Liability, Hard Feelings/Loveless
Least: Sober, Sober II (Melodrama), Liability (reprise)