Five years ago Ella Yelich-O’Connor aka Lorde released ‘Pure Heroine’, an album that changed and challenged the landscape of popular music. Following up that grand commercial success, her sophomore, ‘Melodrama’, is an explosive return to the scene.
Co-written and produced by Grammy-winning singer/songwriter and producer Jack Antonoff, the album also a mega cast of producers such as Frank Dukes, Malay, Andrew Wyatt, fellow Kiwi Joel Little and Flume, making ‘Melodrama’ a multi-faceted masterpiece.
As a result, it promptly earned Lorde her first number #1 spot on the Billboard 200, dethroning pop giant Katy Perry.
No longer looking outward from her Takapuna high school surrounds, ‘Melodrama’ is an introspective and just as personally revealing as she reflects on her past relationship, through a spectrum of emotions.
If it were a painting the bright shades are reflected in Green Light and Homemade Dynamite, while the dark and broody shades are illustrated by Hard Feelings/ Loveless, Sober II (Melodrama).
The sound palette feels familiar on tracks like Perfect Places depicting that broody yet warm pop Lorde finesses so well.
On Sober II (Melodrama) she bares her all over a piano which takes a twist and employs a chorus motivated by trap/ hip hop music with the use of 808s and snare rolls – it’s raw, emotive and sung with pure conviction, taking eager fans to a place most will find easily relatable.
Writer In The Dark will stop you dead in your tracks; the nostalgia, the loss, the anguish, all wrapped in a haunting piano ballad. One can’t help but be reminded of Kate Bush.
‘I am my mother’s child, I’ll love you ‘til my breathing stops, I’ll love you ‘til you call the cops on me. But in my darkest hours I stumble on a secret power, I found a way to be without you babe.’ Loving fiercely until the last breathe Lorde finds a way to move on, albeit struggling with the difficulty of letting go.
You’re privy to some very intimate moments and she’s unafraid to strip it back to just voice and a piano, making her now established-pop-star music accessible and widely resonant. The equilibrium of upbeat and downbeat is what makes ‘Melodrama’ an immersive and powerful sophomore album. Lorde is back!