Lorde is known for describing what may seem like the indescribable: the aching loneliness of growing up while going through the tribulations of adulthood.
Her debut album, Pure Heroine, focused on her teen years: “Ribs” invoking the dread of growing up and wasting your youth — the unattainable need to have tangible evidence of your living life. “A World Alone” centered on finding a place in your world where you might belong, even if it’s temporary. On “400 Lux,” Lorde sings about finding beauty in the mundane —driving down the suburbs with someone you love.
While Pure Heroine made an impacting debut album, Melodrama — Lorde’s second studio album — was probably her most defining album. Her songs range from the fast-paced electropop “Green Light” to the soft crooning piano ballad of “Liability.” Lorde does with this album what every artist strives to do with their music — invoke the undesirable, and frankly, uncomfortable, vulnerability. Lorde seems to have perfected vulnerability, as an expert in embodying loneliness through both her lyricism and music.
Melodrama‘s effectiveness comes from this vulnerability and Lorde’s self-awareness as she sings about her internal feelings conflicting with the facade she plays outwardly. What makes songs like “Liability” and “Writer in the Dark” so special is that Lorde doesn’t shy away from admitting her own insanity or delusions about love or her relationship. Instead, she indulges in them and finds solace in speaking out on her stories. There’s a reason why the same people who listened to Lorde growing up resonate with her as each album is released. Lorde is an honest artist who seems to relate to all the melodrama that comes with getting older.