Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Lorde’s debut album is fitting for a queen

With many accomplishments under her belt, a name like Lorde almost seems too fitting.

Ella Yellich-O’Connor (better known as New Zealand’s newest pop sensation, Lorde) is only 16-years-old, but judging by her sultry voice and above-it-all lyrical prowess, she comes across as wise beyond her years.

Though still technically in grade school, Lorde has already made her mark on the 2013 music scene. Her brooding, anti-materialist smash hit “Royals” reached the No. 3 spot on the Billboard Music Charts Hot 100 and she became the first woman in 17 years to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart.

In “Pure Heroine,” Lorde’s debut album, her tales of excess with tinges of teen angst and melancholy combine to make for one of the more enjoyable, if not necessarily, more interesting new albums from the pack of new artists to breakthrough this year.

On the spare opener “Tennis Court,” Lorde comes out of the gate with a statement that encapsulates the feeling of the whole album: “Don’t you think that it’s boring how people talk/ Making smart with their words again, well I’m bored…” So much of the mystique of Lorde comes from how__despite being caught in the spotlight at such a young age__ she seems to worry herself more with the lifestyles of the middle class and unknown, letting you know all the while she is very much still a teenager.

“Royals,” with its sing-song chorus, imagines the good life without being overcome by the excess that comes with it; “Team,” with its massive chorus, continues the album’s trend of being bored with the status quo: “I’m kind of over getting told to throw my hands up in the air, so there…”.

Much of the album rides off the simple synths and beats she crafts with co-producer and fellow New Zealander Joel Little, with Lorde’s low voice weaving itself in-and-out of each song.

The album itself feels cohesive enough, though on repeat it begins to show cracks in its shiny surface. Each of the song’s simple arrangements begin to bleed together, becoming almost indistinguishable from another, drowning much of the album’s latter half into a lull.

When the album does try to bring itself out of the muck and mire,however, we end up with songs like “Glory and Gore,” a hip-hop/dupstep hybrid filled with high hats and drops that instead of popping out, just sort of hang in the air.

It’s a shame, because Lorde’s lyricism makes her stand out so much more than her other female counterparts, a refreshing turn-of-phrase by a teenager not caught up in the limelight exploits of Miley Cyrus or the high-time luxuries and materialist sentiments of Lana Del Rey.

With a solid debut such as this, one can only imagine Lorde will be hitting the big time very soon, already planning her first international tour that includes the U.S., Canada and the UK.

The question remains to be seen whether Lorde will grow as an artist as her attitude on fame and fortune changes throughout her travels. The girl seems to truly care about the music she is crafting, and the simple life she yearns for throughout the album’s ten songs is in sharp contrast with the stardom she is already receiving.

If things keep going the way they are now, maybe she won’t have to just dream about driving Cadillacs anymore.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5

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