Lorde’s “Solar Power” brings unexpected sound from four year hiatus

  “If you’re looking for a savior, well that’s not me” sings Ella Yelich O’Connor aka “Lorde” in the opening track of her third album, Solar Power. After a four year hiatus, the New Zealand singer released the highly anticipated record on August 20. 

  Many fans, myself included, weren’t sure what to expect from Solar Power. In a letter to fans, Lorde wrote that this won’t be another Melodrama– the fan favorite, Grammy-nominated record released in 2017. However, Solar Power has a completely different sound from the singer’s previous albums. 

  When I first listened, the album seemed to be centered around wellness, and how Lorde has adapted to life as a pop star, while at the same time looking out for her own wellbeing. In track six, Secrets From a Girl (Who’s Seen It All), Ella reflects on her past experiences as well as giving advice to younger fans. “Everybody wants the best for you, but you gotta want it for yourself,” she sings. 

  “Let’s go somewhere eastern, they have what I need”. Later in the album, Mood Ring takes a satire take on spiritual practices adopted by the “wellness industry”. Lorde sings about depending on other things to tell her how she’s feeling, hence the name ‘Mood Ring’. With the rise in popularity of yoga, crystals, and meditation, I think that this song is an interesting take on wellness culture. 

   Track nine, Big Star, was written about the singer’s dog who recently passed away. It opens with the line “Everyone knows that you’re too good for me, don’t they? I’m a cheater, I lie, and I’m shy,” referring to how our pets see the best in us, even when we don’t deserve it. This track is a sweet tribute to her late pet, and reflects how many dog owners feel about their pets. 

  Overall, the album wasn’t really what I expected from Lorde’s return after four years on hiatus. However, in a way Solar Power does line up with Pure Heroine and Melodrama’s underlying themes of growing up. Rather than approaching the idea of getting older as a scary thing, Solar Power shows that maturing is an exciting experience.