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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Albums of the Year - #12: Lorde - "Pure Heroine"

Rating: 7.7/10

Editor's Note: This review will be more "big picture" analysis than track-by-track descriptions. If you want a more direct look at this album's music, read my review of the record from earlier this year at the link below.

Two months ago, I gave the newly-released Pure Heroine the same rating you see above. In my review, I emphasized how mature Lorde sounds for her age. Now 17, the teenage Kiwi singer has so far stood by her message of avoiding over-indulgence and hasn't let the fame get to her head. Some feared her down-to-earth quality might evaporate once she reached the level exposure she's currently at, but there haven't been signs of that happening to date.

As Lorde's personality has not changed during her ascendency into stardom, neither has the quality of her music. Sure, you may have heard the minimalist rumble of "Royals" one (or a dozen) too many times, but years later that song will still sound great. "Team" has risen further up the charts and a new single is surely on its way. Though not present on Pure Heroine, Lorde's cover of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Tears for Fears (included on the soundtrack for Catching Fire) shows that she hasn't lost her touch. For the track, Lorde radically changed the instrumentation and overall feel, replacing the floaty, memorable guitar hook with devestating orchestral backing.

To be fair, Pure Heroine doesn't really grow on you, thus why its rating hasn't been increased from October. It is what it is; a new kind of pop music that hopefully will influence future records in a postive way. Though it's been far too short a time peroid to evaluate whether this is coming true, one can only believe that, given the album's success, other artists will catch on to Lorde's vibe.

Key Tracks: "Tennis Court," "Royals," "Ribs," "Team"

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