Album Information: This is Lorde’s debut studio album it features some music previously released on an EP. It is a pop album that critiques main stream culture and talks about youth. The album reached number three on the Billboard top two-hundred.
Critical Evaluation: The album highlights Lorde’s vocal skills and uses heavy but simple electronic sound. Lorde was influenced a lot by her own youth a theme that comes up frequently in her songs like “White Teeth Teens” a song about the way teens present themselves and their flaws. She also critiques main stream culture in her songs. Her biggest hit “Royals” examines the imagery often used in rap and R&B songs that represent a lifestyle she will never have. She lists off symbols of opulence like gold teeth and pet tigers while the chorus declares “That kind of lux just ain’t for us, we crave a different kind of buzz” in reference to the lifestyle she and her friends actually lead. Royals was actually previously featured on her EP and its success was part of the reason she made “Pure Heroine” Her song “Glory and Gore” discusses pop culture’s obsession with violence. This is a darker song but it still has a catchy chorus that critics love. Overall the album has been very well received.
Listeners’ Annotation: This fun pop album is perfect for listening to on a late night with friends.
Artist Information: Lorde was born in 1996 and began writing songs at the age of thirteen. She is currently working on her second album. She recently oversaw the selection of songs for the Mockingjay part one soundtrack contributing vocals for a few songs. Lorde is a self-described feminist and was included in Time Magazine’s most influential teenagers in the world list for 2013.
Discussion Ideas: 1) How does Lorde critique main stream culture in her music?
2) Do you think she conveys a positive message for teens?
Interest level: The youth theme in Lorde’s music and her young age make her music particularly popular with teens. Her music is well reviewed and she has won several awards.
Challenge Issues: I am not aware of any controversy surrounding her lyrics and she is a popular and well-reviewed artist.
Why is it included?: I wanted to include a CD recorded by an actual teen and Lorde is nineteen years old. She has also made her mark by taking a stand on various issues including having a body positive attitude criticizing the overuse of photo shop.