Lorde
Pure Heroine


4.0
excellent

Review

by Green Baron USER (114 Reviews)
September 28th, 2013 | 19 replies


Release Date: 09/30/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ladies and gentleman, meet your new queen of pop.

Out of all of 2013's pop smash hits, "Royals" may be the one that I was least expecting to get constant airplay. And that's not an insult, the success of "Royals" is baffling mainly because of how much more thought-provoking and unique it is compared to what gets popular. And to make things more impressive, she's only 16. A girl that young making such an intriguing song like "Royals" requires an immense amount of talent. Sure, Pure Heroine (yes, with the "E") could use a bit of refining, but hopefully as her career progresses, she'll work out all the little bumps.

Even though "Royals" is a great song, it's actually one of the weakest tracks on her debut album. The main reason why it pales in comparison to her other songs is because of how minimalistic is it. Aside from some short electronic bursts in the background and the occasional clap, there's really not much going on, and Lorde's vocals are at their weakest on songs where she puts little to no emotion into her voice. Songs like "White Teeth Teens" are a little bland and do lack substance, but it's the only misfire on the entire album. Pure Heroine's highlights all happen when she soars as she sings, injecting doses of personality into her vocals.

But when Lorde gets it right, god damn, it's just the best thing ever. "Team" starts with a talkbox-esque intro (a la the bridge of "Diane Young") and from there, it transforms into the perfect song with a great, infectious sing-along hook and excellent electronic elements to really maximize the vibe of the song. What makes the song stand out is its anthemic, feel-good chorus, one of my favorites of the entire year. The same goes for "Tennis Court": its electronic beeps perfectly meshes in with Lorde's soaring vocals, and its lyrics about her role in the music industry are pretty well-thought out. Even on more restrained, minimalistic tracks like "Ribs" or "400 Lux", she's still able to sound completely captivating. The former starts out slow and brooding before speeding up and transforming into a glorious reflection of childhood memories. It's got such an amazing build-up; the way the electronic elements keep growing until they're all released in one giant emission is just fantastic.

But even with all those highlights to back up Pure Heroine, the best part of the album is Lorde's vocal performance. The album's best songs are driven by the sheer amount of personality she has in her voice, a personality that you rarely see in pop music today. The emotion that she injects into these tracks is jaw-dropping, and even more considering her young age. What's even more impressive about her is that she wrote every single song on the album. Some of these lyrics couldn't even be written by a good chunk of thirty-something year old songwriters, and many lines in this record are pretty amazing for a sixteen-year old to pen. That's why as the closing track, "A World Alone" fades out amongst Lorde's repeated chanting of "people that talk, yeah" (which, by the way, is a response to the opening line of the album: "Don't you think it's boring how people talk?"), I can't help but smile. This is just the beginning of her career, and it's already kicked off with a bang.



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user ratings (636)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Robbie Byrne (4)
Lorde & Joel Little craft a unique proposition in the humdrum world of pop...

Rudy K. STAFF (4.1)
Just one more hit....

Polyethylene (4.5)
The precocious popstar delivers on the hype, and then some....

Matt Harrison CONTRIBUTOR (5)
It's a new art form, showing people how little she cares....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Green Baron
September 27th 2013


20000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

goddamn it this grew on me

was originally gonna be a 3-3.5, but as i kept listening i just loved it so fucking much

treeqt.
September 27th 2013


9704 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

greenlinkinmuse

apokolypz
September 27th 2013


314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I want to love this more like everybody else, but it's not letting me. Still great nonetheless. Pos.

Green Baron
September 27th 2013


20000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

that's exactly what i thought upon my first listen. i thought some of the tracks were rather zzz and it just wasn't the masterpiece everyone said it was

but then i listened to it again today and everything just clicked. all of the songs, i can just feel them. definitely listen to team, tennis court, a world alone, 400 lux and ribs.

Green Baron
September 27th 2013


20000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

double post

Green Baron
September 27th 2013


20000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Won't be a 5

ILJ
September 28th 2013


6677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i listened to the first minute or two of the opening track and "Royals" and really surprised at how good it was. i like that you mentioned the minimalistic production on that track, it was exactly what i liked about it. that's what drives me crazy about a lot of pop music, they always go for this dense, busy production when many tracks would do better if they cut out a lot of the extraneous parts. that and a lot of pop is vapid bullshit void of any actual depth but that's obvious.

excited to give this a full listen. girl has some mad talent and potential.

Polyethylene
September 28th 2013


3096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agree on most modern pop being dense and overstuffed, this actually allows its melodies to breathe

joshuahuntkc
September 28th 2013


1584 Comments


I think I'll have to listen to this again. There are tracks I like but I just can't get into it like everyone else seems to be.

Green Baron
September 28th 2013


20000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's a real grower. don't be prepared to like it upon 1st listen.

oltnabrick
January 20th 2014


30913 Comments


dont understand y u can 4.2 bcuz ur shitty

Digging: Suicideyear - FACT mix 462

treeqt.
January 20th 2014


9704 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

greenlinkinmuse [2]

oltnabrick
January 20th 2014


30913 Comments


might even have to neg this imo

oltnabrick
January 20th 2014


30913 Comments


all of the songs, i can just feel them. [2]

treeqt.
January 20th 2014


9704 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

What's even more impressive about her is that she wrote every single song on the album. [2]

oltnabrick
January 20th 2014


30913 Comments


"Don't you think it's boring how people talk?"), I can't help but smile. This is just the beginning of her career, and it's already kicked off with a bang.
"Don't you think it's boring how people talk?"), I can't help but smile. This is just the beginning of her career, and it's already kicked off with a bang.
"Don't you think it's boring how people talk?"), I can't help but smile. This is just the beginning of her career, and it's already kicked off with a bang.
"Don't you think it's boring how people talk?"), I can't help but smile. This is just the beginning of her career, and it's already kicked off with a bang.
"Don't you think it's boring how people talk?"), I can't help but smile. This is just the beginning of her career, and it's already kicked off with a bang.



sixdegrees
January 20th 2014


17154 Comments


reported this review for unauthorized use of decimal ratings

Digging: 10Minimal - Aluminum World

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
January 20th 2014


10211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

And talk it up like yeah

SnakeDelilah
January 20th 2014


7448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

been digging this for a while

Digging: Nothing - Guilty of Everything



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