What’s so great about Lorde is that we have all grown up with her, and with her albums. The new “Solar Power” is like a light at the end of the tunnel. Famed producer Jack Antonoff is again behind the recording console, creating a brilliant pop album after working with the likes of Taylor Swift and Lana Del Rey. As Lorde has gotten older and more confident, her instrumentation has become more sparse. The album has a very hopeful tone, despite what some critics have said.
Lorde starts the album by putting the listener in her shoes as a teenage musical prodigy with the song “The Path.” Her first album made her many people’s favorite artist when she was only 16, and I think the lyric, “teen millionaire having nightmares from the camera flash” is a perfect way to describe how young she was when she found herself with many eyes on her. Themes of growing up and maturing in the public eye are continued throughout the album. “The Path” counterpoints celebrity and mainstream culture and problems of the modern world with self reliance. Many of the songs on this album have a hopeful upbeat sound, with lyrics that reflect how healing is an ongoing process. The last song, “Oceanic Feeling,” is a great end to the album, showing Lorde’s growth from her 2012 album Pure Heroine with the lyric, “plum red lipstick gathering dust in a drawer.” I interpret this as her having found confidence, and showing that she has grown from her 16-year-old prodigy stage.
My top tracks from this album include “California,” “Mood Ring,” and the bonus track “Helen Of Troy.” The song “Mood Ring” can be described as crystal-focused new age healing with a crunchy feel and a brand new sound, thanks to Jack Antonoff. Lorde also previously worked with Jack Antonoff on her 2017 album “Melodrama.”
The most unique thing about this album is how Lorde chose not to sell the album in CD format. Instead, she opted for a brand new “Music Box,” a carbon-neutral alternative. It is a biodegradable cardboard box which includes digital downloads of two bonus tracks, as well as some exclusive visual content. This is something that I think other artists will start emulating, and will be a great change for the industry. Lorde’s attention to detail and care for the planet are what make “Solar Power” such an authentic album.