‘Melodrama’ is quite probably the album of the year.
Label: Universal Music
Released: 16th June 2017
It may only be a few months old, but already ‘Green Light’ feels like one of those songs. The kind of exclamation mark banger that instantly recalls the first time you heard it. And the second, because it was probably immediately after. And the third too. That’s the power of Lorde in 2017. After a period away from the limelight, what felt like potential on debut ‘Pure Heroine’ is more than realised with a song that feels both achingly now and yet wildly unconventional. Where most artists would put a cacophony of noise, Lorde leaves space. And yet the sheer joy that crashes forth is like an avalanche - overwhelming euphoria seeping out of every pore. And it’s not a one-off, either.
‘Melodrama’ is quite probably the album of the year. There are other contenders, sure, but they’re all playing by someone else’s rules. Lorde has no time for the beaten path - and yet she’s not going to career off into a leftfield forest of oddity and refusal to connect, either. It’s hard to remember an artist that feels so able to mind meld with her audience. ‘Sober’ feeds on primal instinct, ‘Homemade Dynamite’ explodes. Every track feels like The Moment. Every one adds something new to its bedfellows. This is pop operating on its highest plane.
But it’s ‘The Louvre’ that really stops the show. Lyrically fascinating (“They’ll hang us in the Louvre / Down the back, but who cares — still the Louvre”), its hook is a hard left dummy when the entire planet is heading right. It’s not a chorus. It couldn’t be a chorus. And yet, despite all intentions, it’s the most infectious pop moment in recent memory. That’s Lorde. Different, but better. Stephen Ackroyd