Lorde’s Highly Anticipated Album “Solar Power” Has Just Dropped
The powerhouse singer-songwriter has finally released her highly anticipated third studio album after going dark on fans for the past four years, and she comes bearing incredibly joyful tunes that are just dripping with blinding sunshine.
Lorde has just released her long-awaited third album “Solar Power” and it has fans feeling mixed emotions. Gone is the Lorde that gave you pop hits that would grip you with emotion and slam you into feeling seen––at least for now. On “Solar Power” she’s given her audience a self-aware reflection on the lessons she’s learned about oh-so many subject areas: holistic wellness, stardom, and anxieties about climate change, among many others.
The pop-album is a stripped back meditation on searching for answers to her problems in places outside of herself. It’s saturated with a mid-2000s “roots-y” acoustic musical theme that gives the songs their pulse. This is a sharp departure from her previous work, a rebellion against the electronic, high-synth pop she carved out her musical legacy with.
It’s a melancholic album, but not in the way we’ve come to expect from the New Zealand-based popstar. In her previous albums “Pure Heroine” and “Melodrama” Lorde took us on two heartwrenching journeys: one on her debut that cataloged the depressingly raw angst of suburban teens living in the throes of the Tumblr era, another that examined the blistering heartbreak and violent hedonism that comes with that tumultuous time of entering adulthood as a woman. In both cases, fans were delivered seething, painful explorations of grief and hurting that deeply communicated the realities of heartbreak in its many forms and triggers.
In “Solar Power” Lorde completely defies this expectation. It’s much more pensive about the status of the world today, acknowledging the realities of the harm and pain that pervade our daily lives. But it’s also so hopeful, with lines like “‘Member what you thought was grief before you got the call? / Baby girl, no one’s gonna feel the pain for you / You’re gonna love again, so just try staying open / And when the time comes, you’ll fall,” from the track Secrets from a Girl (Who’s Seen it All). Its lyrical meditations come from a Lorde who seems to look back at her musical legacy and life in all of its contexts and publicly reclaims and harnesses the power she’s amassed from her almost-decade in the spotlight.
“Solar Power” is a staunch transformation for Lorde from a lyrical standpoint. It’s a fight against the glorification of celebrity culture from the same person who began her career with songs dripping in ambition; the same person who penned lines like “I’m little, but I’m coming for the crown.” She knows her power as a pop icon and is quick to remind fans that she is human––regardless of how her music may make us all feel. “Now if you’re looking for a savior, well that’s not me,” she decries on the opening track The Path, while also pointing outwards for salvation: “Let’s hope the sun will show us the path.”
Lorde’s “Solar Power” is a balm for the soul in that it acknowledges the pain and confusion of the moment and then offers us an opportunity to look up and out at the sun shining in the sky. This album is Plato’s Allegory of the Cave come to life: Lorde has become the prisoner that has seen the fire, realized that shadows are fake, escaped it all, and then dives back into the cave to help us see the way out. It’s important not to get blinded by Lorde in her defying of our expectations. It seems like she knows the way to get where she wants to be, so why hold her so tightly to her past?
If the phrase “go outside and touch some grass” was an album, it would be “Solar Power.” It’s definitely not the reminder we were expecting from someone like Lorde, but maybe she was the only person who could truly deliver it to us.
Check out “Solar Power” by Lorde, available now to stream wherever you get your music, here.