Album of the Week: Lorde, 'Solar Power'

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Lorde, 'Solar Power'
Lorde, 'Solar Power' album art (Courtesy of Artist)

At the center of Lorde's sophomore album, Melodrama, sits "Liability," a devastating track where she dissects the way she has been left behind during tough times, that's become a fan favorite in the four years since its release. She closes the song with a tender proclamation: "You're all gonna watch me disappear into the sun." Nearly half a decade later, she's kept her promise and shares a new found joy from a journey into the sun with Solar Power.

After penning suburban teen anthems on her 2013 debut album, Pure Heroine, and ballads for the heartbroken party girl on 2017's Melodrama, Lorde has some emotional whiplash to unpack. On her new album, Solar Power, the New Zealand-based songwriter reflects on the relentless pace of her young adulthood and finds comfort in the unwavering warmth of the sun. The title track was the first single to be released, and it's breezy summer energy took many fans by surprise--a departure from the dark-lipstick-wearing brooding character they came to know in her earlier work. Lorde sings about tossing her phone into the ocean and, as made explicit in the music video, embraces a spiritual connection to the sun itself. Lorde has let the world grow up alongside her since her teens, and in this chapter, she seeks to grow beyond the heartbreak and turmoil of her adolescence and share her journey to connect to the world far beyond her place in it.

It's her second consecutive album produced in collaboration with Jack Antonoff. Here the danceable, shiny production of her first two releases is stripped back in favor of muted acoustic guitar and reverb laden vocals. The guitar is recorded with an unconventional sort of closeness, the mic so near to the instrument's hollow body that the listener is gifted the intimacy of the sound of fingers sliding down the frets and strumming vibrating through the wood. Lorde has always been confessional in her songwriting, but here she takes it a step further, directly confronting the role of her music in the lives of her listeners, with lines like "If you're looking for a savior, well, that's not me" on opener "The Path." The song serves as a sort of thesis statement for the album, opening more questions than supplying answers, and urging the listener to join her in the search for cosmic guidance as she sings "Let's hope the sun will show us the path."

External Link

Lorde - official site

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  • Lorde, whose new album Solar Power was released Aug. 20, 2021.
    Lorde, whose new album Solar Power was released Aug. 20, 2021. (Ophelia Mikkelson Jones)