Lorde has risen: new album differs from previous work

September 10, 2021

   After a four year hiatus from releasing new music, Lorde released her third studio album “Solar Power” on Aug. 20. In a new age of escapism music making, Lorde has adjusted her sound accordingly. Similar to recent artist’s musical ambitions, Lorde has created a world that is completely her own in Solar Power. The album is saturated with a nostalgic dream pop sound. Listening transports you into a Los Angeles summer type of mindset with melancholy undertones.  

         Fans initially may have been disappointed that an album released in the summer would have such a sad and reflective sound. Especially after her first two albums, had a relatively uplifting sound. However one must take into account the age and real life experiences of the artist. She was only 16 when her first album was released and 20 by her second. Both ages at which having fun is emphasized, and encouraged. Now that she is almost 25, it only makes sense that as she ages, so would her sound. This theme is discussed in the song “Stoned at the Nail Salon” where she sings “all the music you love at sixteen you grow out of.” 

    The album discusses a variety of topics ranging from climate change to heartbreak. However, all the songs are split into two very distinct categories. Those that start with a sorrowful sound and gradually end on a more uplifting one, and those that do not. Songs that gradually build to an overall happy sound remind the listener of the pure joy of life. Enjoying little things like a nice summer day, present in the song Solar Power. The song reminds the listener that simple things such as nature, can bring one great happiness. Outside of nature the artist reminds one happiness can be found in other people, a summer love, existing in the song California.  

   Songs that have a melancholy feel have a greater purpose as well. They remind the listener of the time we live in. While there is a lot to look forward to, with breakthroughs such as the Covid vaccine being approved for all and the end of the pandemic seeming a little closer, there are still very real issues facing society. These are addressed in the song “Fallen Fruit,” which shares the severity of climate change that is currently among us. Once again, she introduces the theme of nostalgia for a simpler time in the line “to all those that came before us, and the golden ones that were lifted on a wing”. Lorde truly attempts to do it all in her new album. Although it was not the hit summer album fans anxiously awaited, one must again remember the experiences the artist has gone through, and the maturity this album shows. Solar Power is lyrically and melodically a work of art that should be revered.  

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