In Lorde’s new song “Stoned at the Nail Salon,” she sings, “Cause all the music you loved at 16, you’ll grow out of.” But she’s wrong. I haven’t grown out of Lorde’s music. I’ve grown up with it thanks to the way she changes her themes and sounds from album to album. Her third studio album, “Solar Power,” released Friday, is no exception to the sound change, as it features lighter vocals, instrumentals and lyrics than we’ve ever heard from the singer.
We shouldn’t have expected a “Melodrama” part two and the fact that Lorde didn’t deliver one is a good thing. I was 13 when “Pure Heroine” came out and while I still listen to many of the songs from it, this new work feels like it was made for the present day me. We’ve been waiting for this album for four years and it would make no sense for her to be singing about the same themes she did when she became famous at 16.
Here are some of my highlights from the album. Sorry if your favorite song didn’t make it on here. I wanted to write a separate article about each song but my editors said no.
This song does everything an opening track should. It feels like a dream at the start, where Lorde asks you to buckle up for a journey. It is a personal narrative from her, with some wink-wink-nudge-nudge moments for fans who’ve followed her closely— like when she had a cast on at the Met Gala in 2016 — according to Genius Lyrics. In one line, she admits to stealing a fork from the event. Very relatable. It’s not like I’ve ever left a bar with shot glasses or anything like that...
I was going to leave this off because we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy this song since she released it back in early June. But, I just can’t not talk about how perfect this was as the first single. It came as a huge surprise when it dropped because it was so different compared to her previous works, but I think she did it to prepare fans for how this new album was going to feel. This was such a mellow, summery song which made me want to run around on a beach in a yellow dress like she does in the stunning music video.
This song made my list because it focuses on the theme of climate change, which was something fans speculated would be talked about on the album. She released a book called “GOING SOUTH'' about her trip to Antarctica. The proceeds go to a scholarship fund for a postgraduate scholar to study the science of climate change. It’s really important for artists to be using their platforms, and I’m glad to see Lorde doing that here and on other songs in the album.
I am including this one because it made me full-on cry while listening. Dealing with the themes of grief and loss, the song shows how these past years have been difficult for everyone, even Lorde. According to Genius Lyrics, this song revolves around her dog’s death, but I think anyone can listen to it and it’ll make them think about someone they miss.
I really enjoyed the line “But every perfect summer’s gotta say goodnight,” which references the lyrics “But every perfect summer’s eating me alive until you’re gone,” from “Liability,” my favorite song off “Melodrama.” Call back lines are something she does often, and it illustrates she has spent time reflecting on her career.
Lorde said on Spotify this song is “about New Zealand, my family, the past, the future.” Here, she throws them all in a big mixing bowl and gives us this beautiful song which acts as the perfect ending to the album.
The album feels like she knew what I needed to hear this year, so thanks, Lorde. It’s forever going to remind me of my last year here at IU, just as “Pure Heroine” transports me back to starting high school.
Lorde has proven with “Solar Power” that she is here to stay because she will continue to create what she wants and share genuine, passionate work people will love. Here’s to hoping she won’t wait as long between albums next time.