Royal or not Ella Yelich-O’Connor, who goes by stage name Lorde, has rightfully earned the title Queen Bee.
After her first EP The Love Club, the 16-year-old New Zealand singer, Lorde, has released her debut pop album Pure Heroine, which shows her strengths as a songwriter and questions the materialism in a genre that praises is it.
Lorde’s- Ella Yelich O’Connor- nod towards opiates and grammar school literary terms is a good indicator of what the album contains- smooth, rhythmic, sometimes bass heavy and often hip hop inspired tracks laden with Lorde’s mesmerizing voice and lyrics.
Her age is a surprise when her lyrical content is taken into consideration, as Lorde keeps the appeal that teens have with the rich lifestyle that pop music portrays, but realizes that it will never be more than a dream for some.
The album’s single “Royals” has Lorde looking at the materialistic culture that is fed to the youth through music so much that they cannot help but dream of it despite their upbringings in neighborhoods that serve as a constant reminder to what their reality is.
The music video- which has gained over 20 million views since it was posted on You Tube seldom depicts Lorde, but rather turns the focus on suburban teens going about their life, as she reflects on what she has never experienced by using familiar pop lyrics and her current living situation in the song’s intro singing:
“I’ve never seen a diamond in the flesh and I’m not proud of my address, in a torn-up town, no post code envy.”
“Ribs” is a track in which on the surface displays itself as a typical dance song, but once the thin veil is pulled back, it exposes Lorde’s prowess as a songwriter as she explains how vulnerable and alone she feels as she gets older.
In the two years that she has worked on Pure Heroine, she aimed to create an album that flows well from track to track, which is evident when listening to a favorite song that eases itself into the next.
“The goal for me is to make a body of work that is cohesive,” she said in an interview with Caitlin White of the Pigeons and Planes blog, ”If I can make something which does feel like that, and feels right and true and good, then I will have succeeded.”
She does well in persisting with her vision for a solid album throughout Pure Heroine however, it is not a strength when it comes to individual songs like “Glory and Gore” which have trouble standing on their own.
Since the music video, she has garnered a lot of attention to her similarities to Lana Del Rey.
In an interview with the New Zealand Listener she said, “I was listening to a lot of rap, but also a lot of Lana Del Rey because she’s obviously really hip hop influenced.”
Lorde’s lyrical capabilities are genius and have not gone unnoticed.
Lydia Jenkin of The New Zealand Herald stated the album contained “lyrical genius” and “endlessly appealing melodies”.