Music Reviews

‘Profound Introspective Thinking’ – Album Review: Lorde – Solar Power

Rhianna Greensmith

Lorde’s new Studio album ‘Solar Power’, in the short time it’s been available for public consumption, has already received critical acclaim. But Lorde has slightly challenged expectations. Rhianna Greensmith shares her thoughts…

Lorde’s hiatus has been circulating Twitter ever since she finished the promo for her 2017 offering ‘Melodrama’, getting more profound as time went on, and fans were left to crave what she had next up her sleeve.

One fan, under the Twitter handle @DidLorde, took to the social media platform to tweet daily updates on whether Lorde had released her third album. On the 20th August 2021 they finally got to tweet ‘Yes!!! She Did’, posted along with an interaction from Ella herself: ‘HONESTLY SO EXCITED FOR THE DAY YOU CAN POST “YES SHE DID”!

Title track Solar Power throws you immediately into a summer haze of warmth and comfort. She sings of replacing the stresses of our day-to-day with nature, throwing her ‘cellular device in the water’ so nobody can reach her. This, of course, is consistent with her lack of social media presence generally, as she only has 3 posts on Instagram.

The upbeat aura of Solar Power seems quite far removed from the harsher sounding Royals of ‘Pure Heroine’ and the louder Green Light of later ‘Melodrama’. In fact, visually, the tranquil music video for Solar Power of Lorde skipping across a beach seems to directly contrast the dimly lit, dark aesthetic of Royals.

Newfound lyrical optimism

Yet, the outro’s echoing of ‘That solar-olar-olar power’, and the hope this nature brings, may be reminiscent of ‘Melodrama’’s Liability. Creating a foreshadowing quality, in Liability she sings ‘you’re all gonna watch me disappear into the sun’. Perhaps, then, we were to expect the newfound lyrical optimism that this album brings to the table.

This poptimism shines through like no other in tracks Mood Ring and Secrets from a Girl (Who’s Seen It All. Mood Ring has a pop vibe reminiscent of the 2000s with its acoustic guitar and subtle synth whilst you just can’t help but dance to Secrets from a Girl.

Elsewhere in the album Lorde retains her quintessential introspective style that we know and love. Stoned at the Nail Salon has a Ribs-like energy lyrically. It follows a pattern of profound introspective thinking, for example about her fame and balancing the adrenaline of back-to-back performing with the small pleasures of life, followed by the passive dismissal that ‘I don’t know / Maybe I’m just stoned at the nail salon’.

Self-awareness of her elevated fame position and the potentially temporary nature of her ‘Lorde’ persona

Final track Oceanic Feeling is a strong ending. Its warm instrumentals provide a consistency to the album at large, feeling like a large hug in its familiar comfort. Lyrically, this thoughtful tune seems to sum up where Lorde is at mentally. The ending of her knowing ‘when it’s time / To take off [her] robes and step into the choir’ shows self-awareness of her elevated fame position and the potentially temporary nature of her ‘Lorde’ persona.

From angsty teen Tumblr legend to mature pop icon, there’s no doubt that Lorde’s sound has grown up with her. Where Lorde was just 16 in her characteristically melancholic ‘Pure Heroine’ era, with ‘Solar Power’ we get the same relatable lyrics but this time they concern a woman in her mid-twenties.

‘Solar Power’ is a natural evolution from Lorde’s previous work but stands beside her previous two albums in equal triumph.

four stars

Rhianna Greensmith

Featured image courtesy of DeShaun Craddock via Flickr. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

In-article image courtesy of @lorde via No changes made to this image.

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