Four years after the transcendent debut that was Pure Heroine, Lorde returns to the pop scene with a sophomore effort which is inconsistent, but still worthwhile. Lorde is more or less as good as ever, contributing to the album with strong singing and well written lyrics that establish her as one of pop music’s central figures. The problem that arises on this album, and the thing that prevents it from being as good as the last, is that the production here is handled by a young man named “Jack Antonoff”. Gone is the unique atmosphere of Pure Heroine; Antonoff provides musical backing that ranges from simple yet effective to flat and uninspired. Intro track, “Green Light”, is a good example of this; the generic, dancy, Taylor Swift-esque production is saved only through excellent songwriting and delivery, resulting in a good song that leaves you feeling that it could have been better. What we get out of this is an album that feels boring at times, but contains enough highlights (songs like Supercut, Liability, and Perfect Places) to make it a good listen. I would recommend this album, but listen to her other one first; 3.5/5, pretty cool stuff.
- @zlogan of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library
Lorde’s sophomore album Melodrama gives a more mature and refined sound than her debut, while still maintaining the magic that made her debut so memorable. The album opens up with the fantastic lead single Green Light, which is drastically different from the electropop found on Pure Heroine. Much of the album follows a similar sound favouring piano over synths thanks to Jack Antonoff’s beautiful production. The album then leads into other highlights like Homemade Dynamite and the deeply personal Liability. Almost every song on the album maintains the same level of quality throughout. There really aren’t many complaints I can make, but some songs towards the end of the album, mainly Liability (Reprise), feel slightly less fleshed out than other tracks. The album still ends strong however with the closing track Perfect Places. Overall my problems with this album are very minimal and I feel that Melodrama deserves 4 and a half stars out of 5.
- @Theowk of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library
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