The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
In 2017, Lorde released her second album, Melodrama, four years after her debut, Pure Heroine. In what seems to be typical Lorde fashion, the young singer released her newest album, Solar Power, only earlier this year after much fan anticipation.
Solar Power shows a new side to the New Zealand singer, as its happy-go-lucky tunes set a very different tone than those of her previous releases. However, the album still contains several quintessential elements that Lorde fans have come to love. Namely, a heaping tablespoon of teenage angst followed by a sprinkle of sarcastic mockeries of modern-day stereotypes.
As a Lorde fan myself, it’s only right that I’ve listened to the album non-stop since its release.
So, many listens later, I present to you my ranking of Lorde’s Solar Power.
- Mood ring
As it was released as a single a few days before the rest of the album, I fell in love with “Mood Ring” as soon as I listened to it for the first time. Its clever mockery of wellness culture reveals the hidden toxicity of many modern-day health trends.
In her Genius lyrics video, Lorde discusses the meaning behind the title. “There are certain things we ascribe meaning to because we have to… feel well and whole. And something like a mood ring felt representative of that to me,” she said.
No other explanation encapsulates this song better.
- Stoned at the nail salon
The most Lorde-esque song on the album comes in at my number two spot.
“Stoned at the Nail Salon” features the singer’s signature somber mood. It supplies the perfect dose of mopey teenage sadness amidst the other sunny tunes on the album. Not to mention, the layered backup vocals transport you directly back to her previous works.
- Secrets from a girl (Who’s seen it all)
“Welcome to sadness,” Robyn said during a minute-long spoken word performance at the end of “Secrets from a Girl.”
The Swedish singer makes her cameo in the form of a flight attendant which mirrors the track’s topic of the journey of growing up. For those who are “coming of age,” this song is the perfect artistic representation of the feelings that come with that stage of life.
“California” is a discussion of Lorde’s own fame. As reported in Bustle, the track starts the same way Lorde’s career took off: Carol King presenting her with a Grammy in 2014.
In my favorite line of the song, Lorde sings about the moment, “I stood up, the room exploded, and I knew that’s it, I’d never be the same.”
Long-time Lorde fans will appreciate the honesty found in the lyrics, as they depict where Lorde has been and how she feels about fame now.
- The Path
“Now if you’re looking for a savior, well that’s not me,” Lorde sings during the chorus of “The Path.”
It’s another song in which she discusses her fame, and this time, she’s denouncing it. She encourages the listener to rely on the planet and nature, rather than superficial celebrities, all through the character of a cult leader. The Midsommar energy is strong with this one.
- big star
I’ll say it! “Big Star” hurts my feelings in the best way possible. The opening line, “Everyone knows that you’re too good for me, don’t they,” taps into the basic human fear of not being good enough.
Lorde revealed in an iHeart Radio interview that the song is actually about the loss of her dog, Pearl. Despite this specificity, listeners can apply this song to anything in their own lives, whether that be a partner, family, a job, etc.
“Dominos” is a fun song mocking an ex-partner for suddenly becoming, in a word, woke. It’s not as emotional as some other tracks on the album, but it is nonetheless a good time.
My personal favorite line is, “I heard you were doing yoga with Uma Thurman’s mother.”
It paints a very vivid picture.
- The Man with the axe
“The Man with the Axe” is about Lorde’s ex-boyfriend as well as her anxiety. Although her worries stem from being the center of attention and having to perform in front of hundreds of people, the song is still incredibly relatable. Everyone has experienced anxiety in one form or another, and Lorde vocalizes the feeling seamlessly.
The cherry on top? Much of the song is performed in a deep voice that she used often in her previous albums.
- Fallen Fruit
The climate crisis heavily impacted Solar Power and nowhere can that be heard better than in “Fallen Fruit.” The song is incredibly hippie, complete with calling out the dangers of CO2 and reminiscing about the simpler times of the 1960s. Even though it’s not a favorite of mine, I still appreciate the message behind it.
- Solar power
The title track of the album, “Solar Power” is a bubbly feel-good song about going off the grid. This is a very fitting first single for Lorde to release after a four-year-long hiatus. Although it is not a favorite of mine, no summer playlist is complete without it.
- leader of a new regime
“Leader of a New Regime” is set in a post-apocalyptic world where the environment has been destroyed. Lorde is singing from the perspective of a surviving pop star who has made it to an island of survivors, only to find that no one is leading them. While the storyline is entertaining (and scarily possible with the state of the environment) it’s not as relatable as other tracks.
- Oceanic feeling
As the last song of the album, “Oceanic Feeling” sums up all the ideas of the album in one momentous six-minute and 39-second swell of emotion. She reflects on her family history and questions her future. Even though “Oceanic Feeling” may be lackluster in comparison to other songs on the album, it’s the perfect closer.
Now it’s your turn. Have a few listens then tell me: What do you think of Lorde’s newest album? Is my ranking correct?
No matter your final lineup, there is sure to be a song or two that suits you!