Review: Lorde, Solar Power

Finn Murphy | Music Editor

When Lorde said ‘Can you reach me? No, you can’t,’ I didn’t realise how much I would feel that when she released her new album, Solar Power. The New Zealand singer-songwriter opens her third studio album with beautiful vocals and poetic lyrics as she takes us on a lyrical journey through nature, mainly answering the fans desire to know what she’s been up to for the past 4 years.

The star of the album comes in the form of the title single, Solar Power. A track that might have just pushed its way to be the song of the summer. Lorde urges us to ‘Forget all of the tears that you’ve cried, it’s over’, push aside all our troubles, ‘Blink three times and you feel it kicking in.’ This is a song that represents happiness in its purest form.

The album also gives many other songs that could become hits. With Stoned at the Nail Salon featuring a chorus that could catch on and Secrets from a Girl (Who’s Seen It All) ending with a spoken word piece from Swedish pop star, Robyn, that breaks away from the traditional standards of pop music. However, it feels like these songs do not hit the same mark that Royals and Green Light from her previous two albums did. Lorde appears to break away from the expected chart-topping formula to create an album that she enjoyed making, a sense of realness that not many other artists have been able to achieve.

Additionally, she is also able to combine music with activism, linking her music to the climate crisis, vocalising that she will be ‘Wearing SPF 3000 for the ultraviolet rays.’ In the Spotify Storyline feature, Lorde explains that Leader of a New Regime ‘is set in the distant or not-so-distant future, one where the environment is unliveable.’ Lorde’s love for the natural world shines through in this album and is only amplified by this distinct pause to reflect on what we are doing to one of the things she loves most. She asks for a leader of a new regime to change the way we are treating the planet, using her platform to promote a positive message about saving the planet before it is too late.

There has been debate among fans surrounding Lorde’s use of protests as background sounds in the track Dominoes. Some claim that Lorde has used sounds from the BLM protests of 2020, whilst others believe that she is referring to climate change protests that happened in 2019. Lorde claimed that when she was recording the song, she could hear sirens because there were many protests in that summer, claiming that she likes ‘that it sounds like how that summer sounded.’ It is unclear as to which summer she is referring to and that has led to some confusion among fans.

Lorde’s new album, Solar Power, takes the listener on a melodic journey that gets better with each listen. Many fans and critics have condemned the album, but this new direction that Lorde is taking needs more than one listen to settle. The poetic lyrics of each song may not have created instant hits, but it is clear that Lorde has created an album that will be listened to for many years to come.

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