TITLE: Pure Heroine
YEAR RELEASED: 2013
CHART ACTION: #3 US, #4 UK
SINGLES: Royals (#1 US, #1 UK), Tennis Court (#71 US, #78 UK), Team (#6 US, #29 UK), Glorey and Gore (#68 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Not on the radio
LINEUP: Ella Yelich O’Connor (Lorde), Joel Little
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Kiwi teen wunderkind’s debut long player becomes international blockbuster, and perhaps forged a ‘new path’ in pop music.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Some say she’s not as young as she says she is, but that’s neither here nor there, really. Lorde, whether 16 or 20 or whatever, created a pop music that was less about a teenage dream than teenage angst and society’s impact on the youth in suburbia.
Her vocals are a bit beyond her years – a smoky sound that talk-sings in some places and also evokes a smoky jazz club in other places. With producer and co-writer Joel Little, Lorde crafted catchy melodies, hooks, and beats that fit around the lyrics well, and evoked the proper mood.
It’s an encouraging debut for the New Zealander, who isn’t a naif in the woods here as she’s been in the business and signed since age 12.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: She released an EP in 2012 that had “Royals” on it and anticipated this album.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: A version with five additional cuts that are superfluous, including a cover of “Swinging Party” by the Replacements.
GRADE: A-: Hearing this gives me hope about pop music.