The separation between “Melodrama” and let’s say, an Ariana Grande or a Justin Bieber is night and day. I think what other artists lack is that absence in care for their music. I’m not going to say that they don’t care, it’s just there's quite a disconnect between the audience and the artist themselves, and you can easily see that disconnection from their performances and production. They’re not all to blame for that though because it has shown time and time again that it’s one of the best ways to make money. Labels can be quite money-hungry and will expect the musician to make the most mediocre music possible to bring in cash, and I mean it works, but it shows that the artist has a lack of controllability to their work. Those puppeteers control every single bit of their music, making it hard for the artist to make what they want. But the biggest downside is when an artist has the ability to make whatever they feel and seem to fail at making a great album. I’m not going to say they’re not talented, but when these albums are added into the mix, it adds onto the already bad reputation of the genre of pop.
This is where “Melodrama” seems to excel. For context, Lorde has not been quite the “by the books” type musician ever since proven to her largely strong debut album “Pure Heroine” and hit single “Royals”. Years ago when I heard these, I was quite impressed. At the time, I was a consumer for the norm mainstream pop music, so seeing something new coming onto the radio like this, it really opened my eyes to music that had much more quality. Looking back on “Pure Heroine” there’s a lot that didn’t quite hold up in my opinion. Although a great album, there are some things missing. It did well for what it was going for, but I still wanted more, as I felt the artist had great potential in this industry. And well, “Melodrama” exceeded my expectations, and still holds up greatly to this day.
Now what’s so different between “Melodrama” and the highly accepted radio norm music? Well, there’s a 100% increase in quality, and that’s just a straight up fact. The difference between both vocal styles are polar opposites. With the mainstream, there’s a lack of soul or passion, but with Lorde, there’s so much of that and more. Her voice has a slight bit of raspiness (at points), but simultaneously clear, the best way to describe it is that it’s rather raw and showing her true voice without adding any compression or autotune to her voice. It’s absolutely beautiful because it’s true to herself, that authenticity is amazing, and just shows how much aptitude she has. She can go into a mellow style but also a stronger style, showing off her versatility in her voice. She’s extremely talented, and it really pops here more than her debut. To increase your enjoyment further, look at the lyrics. They are very deep and have a greater meaning to them, and it made me enjoy the project even more. I won’t explain the subject matter itself in the review, I’ll leave that for you to interpret and/or look at, but please, if you do take anything away from this, read the lyrics while listening. The production on this project is absolutely immaculate and is truly beautiful, alike with her voice. They mix together into this sense of chaos and safety at the same time, it’s really hard to explain. I’m a sucker for string instruments, and that is clearly present here. Now when compared to radio music, it’s vastly different because of that. It’s extremely detailed, and you can tell there was lots of thought put into it. It’s artistry, and it’s something you don’t see very often from the 1% industry.
Lorde’s “Melodrama” not only exceeds expectations from her already strong debut “Pure Heroine” but it is also, in my opinion, one of the best albums of all time, and easily a masterpiece. You only need to describe the album with 3 words. Pop done right. It’s an essential pop listen that anyone can enjoy. It breaks the boundaries of pop music, breaking those socially accepted norms, and creating something amazing for once, a true refresher for this genre. Sure, it’s technically a crowd pleaser, but also shows raw talent, artistry, creativity, and you can see the true passion. Free creative reigns isn’t something you see a lot anymore, and this is the example of when it does happen, and it just shows how far you can go. You don’t need a refined taste to enjoy it, it has the charm, it has the passion, and has the beautiful instrumentals. The project’s deep lyrical content adds so much backstory to the artist’s situation and head-space and/or mindset in the making of the album. It’s an album about love, and you feel loved when you listen to it. It’s mesmerizing production and vocals immerse you into her world, and you can really deeply understand her subject-matter, her message, instantly. I can recommend this album to anyone, it’s easily accessible and likeable, and no doubt one of my favorite albums of all time.
Favorite Tracks: Green Light, Sober, The Louvre, Liability, Sober II (Melodrama), Writer In The Dark, Supercut, Perfect Places
Least Favorite Tracks: None