Melodrama, Lorde’s second album, is also her break-up album. I know, everyone’s singing about failed love lives these days. It also sees her embracing a more mainstream pop sound. I was initially hesitant to give this one a listen, as I still make the sign of the cross each time someone mentions Ellie Goulding to me. How that promising young lady turned into a nasal punchline in pop music annals is something I will always never understand, and I fear that Lorde is going to follow the same trajectory.
Still, she seems fine for now, if this album is anything to go by. Sure, Green Light is a poppy but bitter up yours to her ex, but it’s not bad, really. It’s catchy enough to be one of the more enjoying breakup songs I’ve heard in a while. Sober is a far stronger song: it’s moody, atmospheric, and it’s gorgeously nihilistic – in other words, the perfect song for a heartbroken person who just wants to indulge in debauchery to forget the numbing ache in the heart. This is followed by the equally solid Homemade Dynamite – again it seems to be about how liars and cheats deserve to effed up the duff with a burning hot pike or something.
And on and on – Melodrama is packed with well-produced songs about messed-up moods and eff you dudes. I’m also glad that Lorde, who was about twenty or so when she recorded the songs, has focused on the messy aspects of the heart here instead of social justice stuff – her lyrics on the latter topic often betray her superficial knowledge of these issues and gives her otherwise good songs a taint of banality that they do not deserve to be saddled with. With her pout and Jack Antonoff’s production steering – when it comes to emo songs, these two are a match made in heaven; that guy’s I Wanna Get Better with Bleachers is one of my go-to song for vicarious head trips. Screaming along with the lady in the music video “I AM NOT CRAZY!!!” is the best release ever, and seriously, people, stop looking at me like that. Oh, and the abortion dog. Seriously, that song encapsulates perfectly that mood during which you are laughing as well as crying and you don’t even know what you are feeling anymore, only that you just want to scream and make those confusing feelings go away somehow.
Oh, where was I? Oh yes, Lorde. Melodrama is an apt title for this album, as it’s all about the young lady baring the mess in her heart as well as her head in a raw and often genuine manner. The songs are more pop this time around, so the more purist types among her fans may be taken aback by this album. Me, though, pop’s my jam, so I have no problems opening up my arms and let this young lady’s hot mess spill all over into my personal ear-space. Hey, if the music’s good. Plus. I was young once, so I know what it was like, so what’s a little emotional purging if it would get me some solid songs in the process?
One more thing: just to make it clear, I Wanna Get Better is not on this album – it’s a song by Bleachers, not Lorde. The lead vocalist and songwriter of that band just happens to be an executive producer on this album.