“This is like a classy Disney tune” – André and Fred listen to Lorde

This is part of a series in which two or more members of the Audioxide team listen to an album for the first time. Any instances of interest or insight are purely coincidental.

[“Green Light”]

André
Well the album title is fitting.
Oh, wait. Is this turning into a house track?

Fred
Good grief.
The roof on my house just blew off.

André
That certainly took a turn haha.

Fred
This is pretty fun.
Is it meant to be fun? I’ve never listened to Lorde before.

André
I’m not sure. Given her age, I assume so.

Fred
This is fabulous.

André
The lyrics are a nice contrast to the happy-house tone of the instrumental.

Fred
Very strong opener.

[“Sober”]

André
She has a very distinctive voice – it’s easy to see why such a fuss was made a few years ago.

Fred
Yeah, husky.
Yet oddly smooth. Does it always have this near-conversational tone?

André
Yeah, but she can certainly soar too.

Fred
This hasn’t quite taken off like Green Light has.
Pleasant though.

André
Pleasant is the right word.

[“Homemade Dynamite”]

André
Her wordplay is fantastic. The delivery is stellar.

Fred
It’s all so measured.

André
I like how subdued the instrumental is.
Leaves her plenty of room.

Fred
Yeah, and the effect on the vocals is just right.
Gives it a glow.

André
Did she just make an explosion sound?
I think she did haha.

Fred
What a clever little hook the chorus has.

André
Yeah, this is good.
I’m impressed so far.

[“The Louvre”]

André
Moody pop is just right for a summer evening

Fred
Yeah, it’s a perfect fit.
I just like how slow it is. She’s confident enough not to throw a wall of noise at you, and rightly so.
She’s singing about over analyzing text messages and it’s great.
What’s going on?

André
There’s a level of restraint, agreed.
And it really benefits the mood.
Also displays an amazing level of maturity for a 20-year old.

Fred
Digging this fade out.

[“Liability”]

André
Seriously, the wordplay is seriously great.
What a lovely little ballad.

Fred
This is like a classy Disney tune or something.
This is so refreshingly weird.

André
I know.
That was really nice.
That one felt a lot more personal, too.

Fred
Yeah, very sweet

[“Hard Feelings/Loveless”]

Fred
This is building up really well.

André
Harmonies are wonderful.
This is shaping up to be a splendid listen.
There’s a real quirky, offbeat quality to some of these synths.
I like how it embraces some of the conventional qualities of pop, whilst throwing in some peculiar aspects too as a counterbalance.

Fred
Yeah. It’s like a successful version of those deliberately messy farces we’ve listened to.

André
You can tell there is influence from the likes of Bon Iver, yeah.
It’s way better than his record last year, frankly.

Fred
You mean 80n )v3r?

André
That one!

[“Sober II”]

Fred
Haha, a symphony. Of course.

André
There’s that classy Disney vibe again.

Fred
Is pop coming full circle to… sincerity?!

André
I wonder how well this will fare, commercially
Critically it’s doing wonders.
Ooh, that beat is ace.
Bass is sounding smooth as fuck on my hi-fi.

Fred
Suave isn’t it.
Production has been top notch.

[“Writer in the Dark”]

Fred
Most of the songs have been below 4 minutes, by the way. Nothing overcooked so far.

André
There’s that restraint again, yeah.
Her voice is the throbbing heart of this record. If she’s not careful, she’ll be one of THE voices of the incoming generation.
Only 20 years old and making records like this.
No wonder Bowie was excited about her.

Fred
The man knew a star when he saw one.

[“Supercut”]

André
There’s not been anything remotely house since the opener.
This could build to one though..
It’s sticking to the subdued.
Nice groove though.

Fred
Yeah, nice.
Oh there we go.

André
It got there in the end.

Fred
Haha, for like 8 seconds.
Her harmonies are so good.

André
Tease.
The producers did a wonderful job on this record.
Her included, it seems.

[“Liability (Reprise)”]

André
The whole thing has that vibe of a come-down from a glamorous party.
Written in the early hours of the morning after.

Fred
Definitely in bring-it-home mode, yeah.
It has that melancholy tone I agree.
Reflective.

[“Perfect Places”]

André
Compare this to that Lady Gaga album last year.
A 20-year old is taking pop to a new level.

Fred
Yeah, this is fantastic.
What a lovely closer too.

André
Absolutely.
I’ll definitely be returning to this.

Fred
Same. Plenty.
Surely that’s one of the best releases of the year?

André
I think only time will tell.
That was a really nice listen.
I’ll be coming back to it.
I’ve not listened to much pop this year, but I’m willing to bet it’s a lot better than the new Katy Perry album for instance.
Not too a dissimilar vibe to The XX in places, and I really enjoyed their album this year too.
But yeah, overall, I’m impressed.
She has quite the career ahead of her.

Fred
Lovely stuff.
She certainly does.
Goddammit.

André
Green Light – what a red herring haha.
A lot of the best albums in recent memory have those fantastic opening tracks that set an initial tone, but the rest of the album follows a different direction.
Burn the Witch from A Moon Shaped Pool, Soothing from Semper Femina..
I’m not sure Melodrama is as good as those records. But it’s a fine album on first listen.

Fred
It’s extremely solid. As you say, time will tell.
Extremely good first impression though.
Extremely.
Extremely.
And she’s only 20.

André
I think you nailed it with that ‘classy Disney’ shout.
The songs have the drama of your Frozen ballads, but the class and craft of something greater.

Fred
It’s a good vibe.
Dramatic even.
Ah, she’s failed spectacularly!