[title size=”1 to 6″ style=”options: default, sidebar”]Album Grade: B[/title]
Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor, also known by her stage name Lorde, is making music that belies her age. Fresh onto the music scene at the age of 16 years old, Lorde’s debut album Pure Heroine sounds incredibly mature for her age, yet still retains a youthful vigor that makes it a standout album for 2013.
Lorde wrote all the lyrics and co-wrote the music, and it shows. While very tight and controlled, Lorde can’t completely deny her age, with Pure Heroine sounding like an angsty teenage album, singing about internet drama and lonely teenagers that already feel too old. As she sings “I’m kind of over getting told to throw my hands up in the air,” on “Team,” Lorde makes it clear that she’s over the teenage lifestyle, but considering that’s what she sings about for most of the album, it’s almost hypocritical.
While the lyrics on Pure Heroine may show Lorde’s age, the sound does the opposite. Toss in Lana Del Rey, a little Florence Welch, and a pinch of hip-hop (especially on “Team,” which takes a page from Run-DMC), all updated a bit for that “2013” sound, and you have Lorde. It’s dark, moody, and dramatic, yet beautiful. However, the sound almost seems to work against itself at times, running together from one song to the next. Tracks like “Tennis Court” and “Team” break things up a bit, and it’s almost impossible not to pick out the smash hit “Royals,” but a little more diversity in the sound wouldn’t hurt.
For such a young artist, Lorde is definitely a powerhouse in music right now. While at times a little too angsty for its own good, Pure Heroine is a fantastic debut for an artist that hopefully has a very long career ahead of her.