.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/cbgb-1381170123.jpg Pure Heroine

Lorde

Pure Heroine

Lava/Republic
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 4 0
19
October 7, 2013

New artists in 2013 don't come any "2013"-ier than Lorde. Ella Yelich-O'Connor is 16, but she could be 25. She sings tough and raps soft. She's from New Zealand, but she could just as easily be from Tampa or Glasgow or Dubrovnik. On her debut, she's a tiny-life teenager and a throne-watching pop comer with a sound that recalls the Internet hip-hop of Kitty Pryde, the cold-storage torch pop of Lana Del Rey and the primal self-dredging of Florence Welch, while still sounding strangely sui generis. "Maybe the Internet raised us/Or maybe people are jerks," she muses on "A World Alone." She's a child of the cloud.

Yet Pure Heroine feels surprisingly real and fully formed, punching through sparse, cushily booming post-hip-hop tracks with vividly searching lyrics about growing up too fast that can seem at once arrogant and pensive. "We're so happy even when we're smiling out of fear," she sings on "Tennis Court." Songs like the hit "Royals" are foreboding but catchy, hushed but hype. She's great at dissecting her so-called life ("We're hollow like the bottles that we drain") and at evoking the feeling of loving hip-hop even as its impossible fantasies turn you inside out. "Team" is an ode to her friend crew, with a beat that booms like Run-DMC playing from inside a stu ed animal. But the song feels proudly isolated: "I'm kind of over getting told to throw my hands up in the air/So there/I'm kind of older than I was when I reveled without a care." Ball up your fists anxiously at your sides to this shit.

19
prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Nightshift”

    The Commodores | 1984

    The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com