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“Once upon a time in Hollywood when Carole called my name. . . “, Mumbles Lorde to the opening lines of the new album track” California “. By this she means the legendary US singer-songwriter Carole King, who presented the then adolescent Lorde with a Grammy in 2014 for her hit single “Royals”. It’s a hazy snapshot of a life-changing moment – and on Lorde’s third album, Solar Power, there are numerous haunting images like this one that blur reality and reverie, intense ups and downs.
Lorde (aka New Zealand singer-songwriter Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor) is now 24 and has made a name for herself as a self-controlled superstar. It probably also paved the way into mainstream music for independent young artists, be it Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, Khalid or Troye Sivan.
The acoustic piano and guitar bops on Solar Power may seem like a casual detour from the majestic synthesizers of their previous albums (2013’s debut Pure Heroine and 2017’s Romance Postmortem Melodrama), but they deliver it all with meticulous attention to detail. She meets here with melodrama collaborator Jack Antonoff, for whose band Bleachers she co-wrote; At the same time, her sense of ownership drives both musical expression and visual exposure – the Solar Power title portrait, apparently captured when Lorde jumped over a friend’s camera, would honestly have seemed creepy had it not been her own idea were.
Lorde is not a very reliable narrator about solar energy, but she is exceptionally convincing. The opening number “The Path” warns against putting them on a pedestal before their carefree siren call in the title song urges us to go their way (“I’m kinda like a prettier Jesus”). Solar Power’s melody evolves into a spiritual crescendo reminiscent of the primal scream of the Screamadelica era. Lorde has always mixed creative influences, but the scorching sunlight of her beach dream also has an uncomfortable edge: the danger of burning up in the psychedelic rays.
She continues to indulge this disorienting vibe on “Stoned at the Nail Salon”This is a result of her experiences in getting used to “everyday life”After a long tour, he is now back at home. All his complaints, including that beloved songs have been discarded and Insta-ready beauties are lost, actually bring about a bittersweet redemption. If she later thinks, however, “Don’t you think the early 2000s are that far away?”Many will feel very old due to Moodring’s ironic attitude toward New Age attitudes.
The album’s soft background harmonies are a result of Phoebe Bridgers (a singer-songwriter star) and Clairo (a friend). Robyn, a Swedish pop icon, appears in an unusual role as a flight attendant in the spoken-outro to the captivating R&B and country tune of. “Secrets From a Girl (Who’s Seen It All)”: “Welcome to Strange Airlines. . . Carousel number 2 can help you get rid of your emotional baggage.
Lorde sings dedications to her dog Big Star (“Fallen Fruit”) and rails against climate change (“Fallen Fruit”), while there are a lot of wonderfully warm feelings all through the album. The album also contains a lot of sci-fi energy. Lorde can be seen wearing the “SPF 3000”, which protects against UV rays (“Leader Of a New Regime”) and immersed in family stories (on the album closer “Oceanic Feeling”). Solar Power is an unusual summer cocktail, with unexpected twists and sparkling power.
Universal Publishing publishes ‘Solar Power’
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