Thoughts: The bittersweet Melodrama of young romance and debauchery
In her second album Melodrama, Lorde has created a work that encapsulates all the complicated emotion of a house party; the ecstasy, agony, and ennui weave together to create a nuanced pop album that easily bests her debut.
I myself was a participant in dozens of parties in my early twenties. Though I have largely left that kind of thing behind, it's still a formative part of my college years. There is a certain cocktail of emotion that mixes inside of you when your apartment is suddenly filled with bodies and music and alcohol and whatever else, and it can be thrilling and depressing, sometimes at once.
Melodrama is essentially a concept album that tries (and succeeds) to capture the journey from the first dance to the ride home. It begins triumphantly with "Green Light," Lorde's fuck-you to an old flame, which despite what Max Martin wants you to believe, sports one of the better verse-to-chorus crescendos I've heard in a while. "Sober" and Homemade Dynamite" are slightly more in line with the beat-heavy singles from Pure Heroine, but the one-two punch of "The Louvre" and tearjerking ballad "Liability" are excellent shifts in style.
"The Louvre" has some of Lorde's best lyrics yet, narrating the excitement of finding love/lust at the party. The song would seem lighter if it wasn't immediately followed by the reality check of "Liability;" the song's ability to articulate drunken, lonely angst is striking.
Other highlights include "Writer in the Dark," especially for its brilliant chorus, and blazing jam "Supercut," that moment when your past catches up with you as you look out the windows at the cars flying by.
Your mileage may vary with Melodrama; I feel as if my nostalgia for a past life strengthens Lorde's message and not everyone may share my complicated relationship with the party experience. But those who do will surely find a friend here, and maybe look back with less regret and more comfort at a youth well wasted.