Solar Power

Lorde - Solar Power
Critic Score
Based on 32 reviews
2021 Ratings: #495 / 529
User Score
2021 Ratings: #530
Liked by 96 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
NME

The New Zealand star's third album continues her winning streak, as she blazes a trail through the pop landscape with a beautiful paean to nature.

90
Clash

Solar Power is a new era for Lorde, matured as she turns her consideration outwards towards her role in fan’s lives, while still leaving space for her signature confessional lyrics.

80
The Guardian
Equipped with lovely melodies and a bombast-resistant sound, the New Zealander exchanges the spotlight for a sly reflection on true happiness.
80
The Irish Times
Unsettling but pretty, her macabre pop still casts a shadow on even the brightest of days.
80
The Forty-Five
A new sun-loving Lorde tries to find her zen on album number three.
80
Northern Transmissions

Solar Power seems like the start of a new chapter in Lorde’s career. A pop sensation that isn’t concerned with making music for anyone but herself.

80
The Observer
Like Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift before her, the New Zealand star embraces mellowness on a third album shaded by climate anxiety and a rejection of celebrity.
77
Paste
On her third record, the New Zealand songwriter smokes a lot of dope and throws a middle finger at the lingering side effects of her former teenage stardom.
75
Entertainment Weekly

There's a subdued quality to Solar Power that feels a lot like caution, or just self-protection — a deliberate retreat from the raw, unfiltered verve of her earlier output into the safer remove of a wry bystander more at ease with cool observation than confessional bloodletting.

70
Slant Magazine

On Solar Power, Lorde presents herself as a pop star in exile, one who’s rejected fame and all of its material trappings.

70
Rolling Stone

Her long-awaited third album is smooth and beachy, searching for serenity in anxious times.

70
DIY
A heady trip that prances around greatness but settles for pretty good.
70
musicOMH
This might not be the album that everyone wanted from Lorde, but it’s a solid, dreamy effort that deserves exploration.
68
Pitchfork
Lorde returns with a self-aware, scaled-back album. Its holistic beauty and revelations about the natural world are often lost in the drab music.
65
Beats Per Minute

Where each song on Melodrama felt like rushing into the next room at a wild house party to discover a new scandal or hookup, each successive song on Solar Power feels like returning to the same yoga class day after day; there might be the odd new mantra or position, but there’s nothing truly revelatory.

60
The Telegraph
The 24-year-old New Zealander's comeback single barely dented the charts and her new album feels similarly unlikely to set the world alight.
60
The Skinny

The album feels thoroughly tamped down both in terms of energy and emotion ... there’s nothing to match the thrill of hearing her pull back the veil and treat us to a glimpse of pop’s future on Pure Heroine, or the empathy engendered by Melodrama's visceral account of young adulthood.

60
The Sydney Morning Herald

The characterisation on the album can feel trite, trying too hard to lean into a particular aesthetic or, when attempting tongue-in-cheek, falling short of its own lofty expectations.

60
Gigwise

Gone are the days of an image of a teen girl with a low, raspy growl in her register and goth-plum coloured lipstick; instead, Solar Power champions an organic ethos, transience, and lots of yellow.

60
PopMatters

Lorde’s Solar Power is a disorganized, hackneyed collection that doesn’t deepen her existing body of work but introduces a woman riddled with white privilege.

60
FLOOD Magazine

Lorde’s third album, Solar Power, emerges at a moment where the world is begging for escapism, and Lorde is itching to provide it. So if Solar Power seems like an album well-calibrated for this moment, why does it feel so inessential?

60
AllMusic

If you're not riding her wave, Solar Power can seem elusive, even cloying, as it circles and sways with a smile.

55
Under The Radar

If you’re looking for a culture-changing album, an emotional experience, or more than two dance-worthy songs…Solar Power is not it.

50
Sputnikmusic

Solar Power is not a transformation so much as it is a straight regression. Lorde’s behind-the-scenes actions and motives may be admirable – inspirational, even – but unfortunately none of that translated to record here.

50
Loud and Quiet
For an artist who often revels in big emotions and excels at melodrama, her return to the spotlight is intentionally low-key – a cooling balm put on a scab to stop you from picking at it.
50
A.V. Club

With her third album, the 24-year-old New Zealander writes her ode to the sky, but gets lost in the clouds.

40
The Independent
The New Zealand musician was dubbed ‘the future of music’ by David Bowie. But on her third album, she swaps her directness for tuneless detachment.
40
Evening Standard

Solar Power sounds like an opting out from wider pop culture altogether. It’s a musical resignation letter, advising her fans to look elsewhere for a saviour in the first song.

40
The Line of Best Fit

It’s a shame to witness such a fall from grace, as all the genius on Melodrama seems to have stayed there, leaving Solar Power high and dry without any flavour or journey to embark on. Lorde has found her new world, and sadly, it’s not the one we’re living in.

40
The Needle Drop

Lorde lacks the writing chops or perspective to follow through on Solar Power’s themes and satire.

40
The Young Folks

Get lost in Eilish’s album instead, for there’s really no need to return to Solar Power.

40
Spectrum Culture

Lorde has always been a master of balancing satire and vulnerability, which makes her “summer album” all the more disappointing in how uneventfully she drops the ball on executing her promising vision.

cakenator
50
NME on their way to give any slightly popular album a 100
MattsReviews
50
Is this really the same artist who made Melodrama?

Lorde's new project, "Solar Power" only tells me one thing only, and that's that the mainstream pop artist turned folk trend needs to come to an end.

Anyways, Taylor better, Clairo better, and Youngboy better goodnight this disappointed me

Edit: I have relistened a few times from my original 3 listens and the project is only decreasing in value due to it being so boring for me. The highlights do stand out though. Anyways going ... read more
Doublez
58
Oh Lorde, sadly made another one.. Power Solar had everything to warm our hearts, but it is limited by too little content. Lorde's performance is the very symbol of this first failure.

For once, it's necessary to go straight to the heart of the matter because there's no need today to really introduce Lorde. The New Zealand native has clearly (and normally) conquered the world by becoming one of the most talented pop artists of the last decade. Her previous album, Melodrama, put her on a ... read more
BaddieBaphomet
50
WOW!

I don’t love it.

There are moments in music, which are very rare, where you hear something and by the end of it it dawns on you that everything is different now. One of those moments that I can still vividly remember eight years later is when Lorde broke through with her debut album “Pure Heroine”, which managed to be not only an infectious pop album but seemingly killed mainstream pop music as we knew it. A long four years later saw her somehow outdoing herself with ... read more
Case
85
Solar Power is not a flashy and attention-demanding return for Lorde, but it is a mature and subtle one, and I think it’s the subtlety and the growth shown that’s really connecting with me. And I’m really glad I like it this much, as I was nervous I’d be disappointed because the early response was not as positive as I’d hoped. But I do really love Solar Power, and it definitely exceeded my expectations.
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Added on: June 10, 2021