We’ve waited four long years for another Lorde album. With Solar Power, Lorde has traded the bass and bombast that characterized both Pure Heroine and Melodrama for a more languorous sound, one that doesn’t care whether or not you like it as long as she vibes with it.
And vibe with it she does. The Atlantic’s Spencer Kornhaber calls Solar Power a “rock nostalgist’s dream,” and I can’t think of a more apt descriptor for Lorde’s junior record. Lorde co-produced the album with Jack Antonoff, who in addition to his work in fun. and Bleachers is also a frequent collaborator of Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift. Some keyboard warriors on Twitter took to their phones first thing this morning to trash the album and Antonoff in particular, but in my opinion they’re way off-base.
For one thing, music doesn’t have to be radio-friendly to be worthy of praise. It may be a little early to call, but I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Lorde takes home Album of the Year at the Grammy’s next year, which would be a glorious middle finger in the faces of her detractors.
Lorde seems to have anticipated the criticism now coming her way, because in the title track she gives us this delicious double entendre: “Can you reach me? No, you can’t,” asserting both her self-prioritization and the fact that she doesn’t need to prove anything to her haters because she’s already beaten them.
All in all, Solar Power is a powerhouse of a record, if a subdued one. It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, for sure, but then again I don’t think it’s meant to be. Lorde is just living her life and if you don’t like her, I don’t think she cares—she’ll just keep singing in the sand.
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