We told you this was melodrama.
It’s taken me a solid two weeks to come down off of my Melodrama high to be able to step back and analyze it fully. As many of you probably already know, Melodrama is the second studio offering from New Zealand native, Lorde. While her debut album Pure Heroine chronicled her early teenage years, Melodrama takes us through her late teens and the lead up into her 20s.
Lorde (real name Ella) wrote the entire album with Jack Antonoff (aka Bleachers and previously the band fun.). Not only does Ella have songwriter credit throughout the record but she also shares producing credit on each and every song along with Antonoff. When you run through your 70th listen of Melodrama, pay attention to each tiny deliberate snare, pop and ad lib throughout the album and know they were put there for an active purpose. The horns that come through in the “Sober” hook hit me like a wave every time I hear it.
I could run through each and every song and explain why they are all lyrically impeccable but I think the album actually reads better as an entire work. From top to bottom Melodrama reads like a chapter in a very personal journal. We are taken on the exhilarating high of reeling from a breakup in “Green Light,” reminiscing on the feeling of falling in love in “The Lourve,” the realization of being too much for someone in “Liability,” feeling nostalgic for what once was in “Supercut,” and finally coming full circle knowing that nothing is ever as it seems in “Perfect Places.”
Melodrama is a personal recollection of Ella’s late teenage years but the way she so vividly explains her emotions is something that transcends her age. I listen to “The Lourve” and feel 17, 21 and 25 all at once because I’ve felt “the rush at the beginning, I get caught up just for a minute” at multiple times in my life and every time it manages to feel the same. Emotions don’t change with age, only the people who come in and out of your life and cause you to feel those emotions do.
I have two personal favorite vocal moments on the album. The first is found in “Liability” when she sings, “I know that it’s exciting, running through the night but every perfect summer’s eating me alive until you’re gone. Better on my own.” The rushing through the first half of that phrase exactly captures the feeling of loving someone until they realize that you aren’t the right one. Because then they are gone, and you are left to love yourself. The second is in “Supercut” around the 2:15 mark when she resings the chorus to act as a bridge. The emotion behind that bridge is raw, vulnerable and straight power that you can hear when she physically screams behind the last “wild and fluorescent, come home to my heart.”
I have to end this review by acknowledging the feat that Ella has accomplished with this record. For a woman to have her album debut at #1 in the United States (as well as other parts of the world) and have credits as both a songwriter and producer is something to be celebrated, screamed and cheered for. You can hear how much of her soul she poured into this record not only through the lyrics and melodies but also through the tracks and her vocal performances. Two weeks post album release and I continue to find new secrets buried within the depths of Melodrama. I anxiously await her live show in Los Angeles next March where I’m sure the songs will morph into something completely new on stage.
Rather than leaving you with the typical Songs to Cry/Dance to and album favorites I’m going to share my favorite lyrics from Melodrama because this album, more than anything, is a lyrical treasure chest.
- I care for myself the way I used to care about you. – Hard Feelings/Loveless
- In my head I do everything right. When you call I’ll forgive and not fight. – Supercut
- The truth is I am a toy that people enjoy until all the tricks don’t work anymore. – Liability
- All those rumors they have big teeth, oh they bite you. – Green Light
- They say, “you’re a little much for me, you’re a liability.” – Liability
- We’re sleeping through all the days, I’m acting like I don’t see, every ribbon you used to tie yourself to me. – Sober
- Okay I know that you are not my type (still I fall), I’m just the sucker who let you fill her mind. – The Lourve
- I know that it’s exciting running through the night but every perfect summer’s eating me alive until you’re gone. – Liability
- I let the seasons change my mind, I love it here since I stopped needing you. – Writer in the Dark