Lorde - Te Ao Mārama
Sep 9, 2021
30
I'm glad people are liking this but...This bums me the hell out.

First off, I'm not a huge fan of the compositions of 'Solar Power' to begin with. Every song on here sounds so stripped down, basic and empty that there is really nothing to grab on. Each song feels as lifeless as on the album counterpart, so there is ZERO reason for me to come to this EP for the music.

Second off, this is such a missed opportunity. I think that having Lorde reimagine these songs with Maori translations is not a bad idea on paper. While I'm not a fan of the music on the album, having translations and maybe even reimaginings of the songs with Maori artists would be such a great step into introducing more people worldwide to Maori folk music, a huge part of New Zealand culture.

Hell, this EP could have been amazing for the Maori artists of New Zealand if Lorde gave them the opportunity to reimagine her songs to release them on this EP, almost as a remix record. I would have LOVED to have seen that conceptualized, even if I still wouldn't be a huge fan of the music.

...but that's not what she did.

Instead, this is just Lorde lazily rerecording the already preexisting music with Maori lyrics, and badly at that. While I am really glad this Ep is being used to go to the charities Forst and Bird, and Te Hua Kawariki, the actual product she's selling just feels like an entire EP of appropriating Maori culture in the attempts to 'reconnect to her New Zealand roots'. Which is a goddamn travesty, because I feel like the best artist to introduce these sounds to a wider audience would be Lorde, so for her just to take the most painfullt obvious 'let me sing these songs...IN MAORI!' route possible is just really disappointing.

And it's almost a slap to the face because she KNOWS that what I said before could be a good idea, giving Maori artists Sir Tīmoti Kāretu, Dame Hinewehi Mohi, Hana Mereraiha and Hēmi Kelly some room (not a lot of room, but room enough so that she is still centre stage) to shine, most noticeably as background vocals on the opening track and closing track of this EP, which leads me yet again to question why she couldn't have just given Maori voices the whole EP instead of inserting herself into the culture yet again in order to 'pay tribute'? It just comes off like she wants to play 'New Zealand Humble Girl!' without giving up her limelight as a creator instead of giving creators from the community the limelight, and because of this, the whole sentiment of giving back to 'the culture of New Zealand' is incredibly ingenious to me.

This EP, honestly, could have been one of the most commendable acts in Lorde's career, but instead she decided to yet again be the star of the show and, as it was with her last album, leads to painstakingly disappointing results.

Bleh.

EDIT: Thought I'd give some Maori recommendations since that makes more sense then to just be shitting on this record and not providing any alternative:

Rob Ruha and The With Dr (saw these guys live, extremely good musicians): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVmqLj-miDE&ab_channel=RNZ

Marlon Williams: https://open.spotify.com/album/4NWOzoaQPO3ccUfbnA5Dcg?si=BWKScfUJRf-WRhEPoUZr2g&dl_branch=1

Unknown Mortal Orchestra: https://open.spotify.com/album/7c2Xfq7aQKzs0KdSI3K7Rc?si=W6et0ElAR9iGOVVZ3EDcyw&dl_branch=1
6 Comments
Sep 9, 2021
New Zealander is mad online
Sep 9, 2021
Lorde is gonna need some preparation h after this review
Sep 9, 2021
@CLJesse @weedjesus grr >:(
Sep 9, 2021
Wait bars
4d ago
Ummm taking you ripped sh*t out of the Waiata anthems album released a couple of years back too? And that all those artists... Six60, Benee, shapeshifter etc were all "lazily re-recording pre-existing music with Maori lyrics".... Hmmm. Or perhaps you could calm down and appreciate that this girl is doing her best to celebrate Te Reo. It's a lose lose with pākehā engaging in Te Reo. If they don't try they get sh*t on for not embracing it, and when they do try, they get sh*t on for embracing it.
2d ago
@Hammers I have no idea about what that is but stan loona
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