On September 27, 2013, one of my favorite albums was released, that album being Pure Heroine by Lorde. This album means so much to me as it came out when I was just starting high school, and it perfectly described all of my emotions. Pure Heroine perfectly encapsulates what it means to be a modern teen, which is why it is such an important album to not only me but to many others as well. In preparation for her upcoming album Melodrama (set to release June 16, 2017) I decided to take a look back at Lorde’s monumental debut album.
When people think of Lorde/Pure Heroine, their minds probably immediately think of hit single “Royals”, but to me, Pure Heroine is so much more than that. In the first song, “Tennis Court”, Lorde ponders upon how her life is going to change more and more as she becomes increasingly well-known. “Pretty soon I’ll be getting on my first plane. I’ll see the veins of my city like they do in space. But my head’s filling up fast with the wicked games up in flames, how can I fuck with the fun again when I’m known?” she sings, concerned about her future as she grows as an artist.
In one of my favorite songs off the record, “400 Lux”, Lorde sings about liking someone, and just enjoying their company. It’s a sweet, and down-tempo song that I feel everyone can relate to in one sense or another, whether it be platonically or romantically.
The album’s fourth track, “Ribs”, is a song that’s very special to me. “Ribs” is a song about the worries you may have as you grow older. Me being 17 right now and almost an adult can really relate to this song, but it also reminds me of my best friend. More specifically, the lyrics, “You’re the only friend I need, sharing beds like little kids. And laughing ’til our ribs get tough, but that will never be enough.” The song itself is very dreamy-sounding and the lyrics nostalgic, perfect for when you just want to lay down and reminisce.
Fast-forward a few track and we land on the dark and brooding “Glory And Gore”. This song is clearly hip-hop influenced (she cites Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, and J. Cole as musical influences) with a bit of electronic as well. Sound-wise, it’s very different from previous songs mentioned. This album holds a lot of variety, there are songs perfect for any mood you may be feeling.
The closer of the non-extended version of the album is called “A World Alone”, which is one of my top 3 favorites on the record. Lorde sings of being involved with someone despite other people’s disapproval. “Let ‘em talk cause we’re dancing in this world alone, world alone, we’re alone.” she sings in the chorus. In one of my favorite lyrics, “I know we’re not everlasting, we’re a train wreck waiting to happen.” Lorde describes perfectly what it’s like to be young and in love, as it not always lasts.
The extended version of the album contains one of my all-time favorite Lorde songs, “Bravado”. “Bravado” is about finding real confidence in the midst of false confidence. Lorde cites the following Kanye West lyric from his song “Dark Fantasy” as inspiration, “Me found bravery in my bravado”. Being an introvert, this is a song I can really relate to as it describes feelings of being shy and more reserved.
Pure Heroine is a beautifully crafted electro-pop album that effortlessly describes the experience of being a young in this modern age. Re-listening to the record only makes me even more excited to see what Lorde comes up with next, as I’m sure it will be amazing.