“You’re all gonna watch me disappear into the sun”, that’s how Lorde finished one of her saddest songs, “Liability”, in 2017. Now, after four long years gone, it looks like, or rather sounds like, she really did get to the sun, but in the best way possible.
“Solar Power”, the singer’s new album, was released in august this year and embodies the feeling of being embraced by light. Throughout her 12 new songs (with two extras in the deluxe version), the artist explores difficulties and finally finds her true form of happiness, away from the world with only those she really loves.
When compared to her previous work, filled with pain and chaos, “Solar Power” is the peace Lorde could never find before. With a true gift for the use of words, the composer is able to describe what it felt like to heal, making it possible for the listener to understand her perspective and sympathize with her pain, while also opening a little space for hope to get in.
Every single song dives into the idea of self reflection, looking back at past relationships, growth and even humanity itself. In “Dominoes”, for example, Lorde talks about her ex boyfriend, the one who hurt her so bad, and how he’s changed, referring to him as “Mr. Start-Again”. She also mentions how different his habits are now that he’s got a new girlfriend, creating an atmosphere of utopia, with so many good things happening to the guy.
Another pretty important song to understand what goes through the artist’s mind is “California”. This is an ode to the place that has given Lorde all her life-changing memories, but is also an unsettling peek, exploring the celebrity world.
The song starts with the singer recalling the moment she felt herself ascend into the chaotic culture of idolization. Throughout the verses, though, she gives insight to her decision to leave the “dream life” behind in exchange for a more peaceful and authentic time spent in the beachside of New Zealand.
But the whole process of experiencing the darkness in order to get to the light gets excruciatingly clear in “Secrets from a Girl (Who’s Seen it All)”, where the singer takes the opportunity to talk to her younger self and tries to share the things she’s learned during the last four years.
Maybe the most important part of the song is the outro, spoken by Robin. According to Lorde, the idea behind it was to make it sound like a “surreal flight attendant”, with references to what you may hear while travelling. It’s not that simple, though. The verses are filled with themes of pain, and eventually, the feeling of “sunrise”, it reflects the mood of the whole album, dealing with the past and the path to acceptance.
Besides the lyrical experience that is “Solar Power”, its production is also amazing. With the help of Jack Antonoff (my bet to win Producer of the Year, by the way), Lorde constructed a whole universe through her melodies, something that can be pointed out in “Secrets from a Girl (Who’s Seen it All)”, since the artist took two chords from “Ribs”, one of her first hit songs, and reversed them, representing the situation changing and things finally being okay.
Lorde has been considered a genius, something she recognizes in her song “The Man with the Axe”, but the most beautiful thing about her work now is how human she actually is. It’s clear this album tells a story of growth, especially when you consider how the theme’s changed since “Melodrama”, the singer’s previous album. The hope and vulnerability Lorde portraits is the reason we should all listen to “Solar Power”.