Pure Heroine

Lorde - Pure Heroine
Critic Score
Based on 31 reviews
2013 Ratings: #161 / 1039
Year End Rank: #18
User Score
2013 Ratings: #21
Liked by 64 people
September 30, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Universal Music / Label
Pop / Genres
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lorde.co.nz / Website
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Built around producer Joel Little's deep bass rumbles, lilting loops and programmed beats, the album evokes the shadowy sonics of Massive Attack and the XX. In the center of the heaviness, however, is a 16-year-old with a dynamic voice and an even better pop sensibility.
Entertainment Weekly

Pure’s mix of woozy dream-pop, killer beats, intriguing vocals, and fanged lyrics about culture and millennial ennui signals the arrival of a new kind of star.

The Line of Best Fit

O’Connor’s coup d’état on Pure Heroine is ultimately the subversion of sentiment and expectations she achieves as Lorde: an often incongruous mix of the small-town study-hard goth-geek and a vampishm, leftfield pop star in the making.

The popularity of ‘Pure Heroine’ suggests all is not lost. It says there’s still an intellectual, polished and important place for pop, that doesn't rely on open letters, open legs, Twitter, twerking and obscenely desperate electro hooks.
A.V. Club

Pure Heroine is a scattered, but preternaturally gifted album, charting the rise of a new teen phenom with enough awareness to navigate crossover success with aplomb.


To know so much, to feel so little and to embrace what is, she illuminates being young, gifted and bored with a luminescence that suggests life beyond Louis Vuitton.


Pure Heroine is by no stretch of the imagination a groundbreaking record. Yet it surpasses its peers not on its sonic pleasures, however alternatively insistent or recycled they may be, but on the singular force of its artist’s striking personality.

Consequence of Sound

Lorde’s clearly a gifted songwriter for her age, but don’t let the novelty affect your perception of Pure Heroine. It’s a very grown-up album despite its teenage topics, and if you give a damn about good pop songs, then you owe it a listen. 

Everything boded well for the debut album, and rightly so, because it’s a phenomenal record. Auteurship, pure and simple. Her vision, and her ideas.
The 405
The minor problems here are forgivable, as for the most part, Lorde is on pristine form. Where she goes next is anyone's guess, but she'll be watched by the entire world as she does so.
Drowned in Sound
Effortlessly mixing pop aspects with electronic undertones, hip-hop influence and the occasional R&B nod, she has taken everything that's wrong with today's chart toppers and turned it on its head - producing a record packed full of inspirational, intelligent monologues.

It’s not a perfect album: it’s very much front-loaded, with Royals, Tennis Court and Ribs all popping up in the first half of the record ... There is, however, so much talent on display that fears of Lorde being a flash in the pan can surely be discounted.


With lyrics steeped in critical thought and slathered with confidently modulated vocals, Lorde is the antithesis of pop schlock, making Pure Heroine a project well deserving of the commercial attention it's been receiving.

Time Out London
Ironically, Lorde’s remarkably accomplished debut album will probably give her access to that world of gold teeth, Grey Goose and tripping in the bathroom. Part of you hopes she steers clear – but another can’t help already thinking about the songs she could write as an inside observer...
Rolling Stone
On her debut, she's a tiny-life teenager and a throne-watching pop comer with a sound that recalls the Internet hip-hop of Kitty Pryde, the cold-storage torch pop of Lana Del Rey and the primal self-dredging of Florence Welch, while still sounding strangely sui generis.
Slant Magazine

Taking its production cues largely from Jessie Ware's excellent Devotion, the nihilist pop of Pure Heroine makes a strong case for the less-is-more maxim. What's left is a remarkably unpretentious and almost raw set of vignettes mostly powered by Lorde's modest, affectation-free performances.


Overwhelming nostalgia defines Pure Heroine, a wistful dissection of a youth still in progress.

The Guardian
If the "Lorde" persona isn't just a record-label construct (who thought up that double-meaning album title, by the way?), it bodes well.
God Is in the TV

Writing her own tracks and with a deep thought provoking voice, this is not an album to be taken lightly…at all.

Pretty Much Amazing

While it’s no masterpiece, Pure Heroine is unique and engaging enough to keep the conversation going.


More fully realized than her debut EP The Love Club, Pure Heroine is a fluid collection of throbbing, moody, menacingly anesthetized pop that sometimes sounds like St. Vincent’s "Champagne Year" mixed into whatever’s in the punch at Abel Tesfaye’s house.


Pure Heroine remains a lush, engaging experience. Lorde’s sudden international success is most welcome in such an overcrowded, singles-oriented marketplace as we have today, and her songwriting alone may very well turn her into some sort of Leonard Cohen for the tween set.

Tiny Mix Tapes
In 1 year (tops), no one will want to hear “Royals” ever again.
The Fly

There’s an honesty to Lorde’s youthfully cynical musings (very much the thoughts of a teenager, albeit a damn savvy one) that affords her more avenues to explore. And, whilst Lorde’s world creates its own incredibly distinctive atmosphere, it feels accessible and open to maturing.

Loud and Quiet

Citing SBTRKT and Burial as influences, writing lines like, “I remember when your head caught flame” for the purpose of a rhyme and basing her best song around going down to the tennis court and talking it out, “like yeah.” It’s then that Lorde combines the frivolity of youth and the new science of FM pop 2.0 to unchallengeable affect.


Clocking in at just over 37 minutes, Pure Heroine is built for the ADHD-misdiagnosed masses, and its pop charm carries a sort of universal allure that cancels out the album's harsh bite.


If nothing else, the music is aggressively okay. But its overall unspecialness undercuts Pure Heroine's devotion to playing both sides of Lorde's "only 16" coin


Pure Heroine seems to hint at the truth...but the truth is, Lorde is a pop invention as much as LDR and is not nearly as honest about her intentions.


Every track here follows the same pattern over identical lackadaisical rhythms, her vocals never rising beyond a low-slung murmur with most of the lyrics drawing the same conclusion: she’s bored.

The Independent

It's impressive, slick alienation for the Y? Generation, but as with Del Rey, it's a one-trick-pony sort of act.

The Observer

She is more forthright about pop's failings: on Royals, one of several great moments on a decent album, she deftly punctures the inflated dreams of so many pop artists.

Nvm I was wrong this is a pop classic for sure
I totally forgot to review this album.
I've even had a CD of this album for a long time and frankly I'm less and less likely to reach for it. It's a good pop album with a few great songs but I got bored after listening to Lorde in the past almost all the time. Lorde is also an artist who introduced me to the world of music and changed my taste in music a bit. I remember the first time I heard her song Green Ligh, it was something special compared to what I listened to every day, I just had to ... read more
Lorde's Pure Heroine is a "soundtrack to my [insert certain season of sadness, a time of uncertainty and perhaps existential and/or teenage angst, like winter maybe, or a dreary summer]" kind of album. Like a lot of pop albums, it is a kind of blank slate on which dedicated listeners scrawl their own stories. Sure, Lorde's lyrics, in their impressionistic way, aren't universal; many of them feel like bizarre inside jokes from the cool kids who for some reason think they're the uncool ... read more
[rating the 16 track deluxe version]
strong debut from a promising artist. lorde really shows herself in these songs. the tracks go into each other nicely, with the production overall being incredible. the aesthetic of this LP is what really pulled me in, with some interesting titles and lyrics, lorde shows that she has the potential to become one of the next greatest pop stars.
fav tracks: bravado, 400 lux, ribs, a world alone
least fav tracks: biting down

I'm seriously baffled by Lorde's critical reception. What about this was considered quality? The production is mediocre at best and Lorde herself sounds like she's being forced to sing at gunpoint. I can tolerate a boring album. I have a small brain and I am easily entertained. I draw the line when things go from inoffensive middle ground to mind-numbing obnoxiousness.

I worked in a retail clothing store before this whole virus thing hit. Multiple times ... read more
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Track List

  1. Tennis Court
  2. 400 Lux
  3. Royals
  4. Ribs
  5. Buzzcut Season
  6. Team
  7. Glory and Gore
  8. Still Sane
  9. White Teeth Teens
  10. A World Alone  
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Added on: September 26, 2013