“Solar Power”: Lorde’s Comeback


Cover of Lorde’s third album, “Solar Power.”

By Emma Schieffer, Opinions Editor

New Zealand’s Lorde has risen again, returning after her disappearance following the final tour for her sophomore album, Melodrama, with her third record, Solar Power.

The record, produced by Jack Antonoff, features backing vocals from Phoebe Bridgers and Clairo, both of whom are featured on the album’s lead single “Solar Power.” Most fans were thrilled to know that Lorde would be coming back but were disappointed when the debut single was released.

Some said that “Solar Power” sounded like it would play in the background of a tampon commercial. The song starts slowly with only Lorde singing and an acoustic guitar. About two minutes in, a chorus of voices repeating the song title finishes it off. This was an interesting song since it was different from what she had released before. But when the full album came out, “Solar Power” sounded like all the other songs on it.

The lead song on Solar Power, “The Path,” starts the same. The vocals are a bit more interesting than “Solar Power,” though the song takes on the same structure of starting slow and picking up towards the end. Lorde’s lyrics stay relevant to her ‘savior status’ among her fans, as she writes, “Now if you’re looking for a savior, well that’s not me.” It is one of the better songs on the record, as it starts the album off on a good foot. The songs sound promising but are instead repetitive when most of the songs start to sound the same.

For me, the best song on the album is easily “California.” The song is about her reflecting on reaching a high level of fame at a young age and wanting to return back to normal life in New Zealand. The chorus is catchy, and it keeps me coming back to the song.

The song following “California” is completely contradictory. “Stoned at the Nail Salon” was the second single from the record where Lorde wishes she had stayed in the spotlight and misses what her new life has become. It is the feeling of being torn between two things.

“Mood Ring” was the third single, and the music video was released on Aug. 17. The song has parts that seem pretty random. Some lyrics include, “I’m tryna blow bubbles, but inside / Can’t seem to fix my mood,” and “Don’t you think the early 2000s seem so far away/Ladies please begin your sun salutations.”

In most of the songs, the messages could be good, but don’t seem to make sense. The album is supposed to be about environmentalism, but it doesn’t come across clearly to listeners. There are some songs about fame and love, but there are also songs about her late dog. An environmental message can be missed easily in the concepts of the songs.

I’ve personally only been able to come back to listen to “California” and “The Path.” The album was pretty weak, especially succeeding an album like Melodrama. It seemed daunting to follow an album that contains songs heavily regarded as one of the best songs of the 2010s. Solar Power sounds as if Lorde tried to match Melodrama, but missed the mark.

I think that some people will really love the album, but others will find it a bit bland both lyrically and sonically. With that said, I’d give this album a 5/10.