‘Pure Heroine’ three years later
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Opinions Editor
On September 27, 2013, Lorde released her debut album Pure Heroine. Featuring elements of electronica and dream-pop, the album was highly-regarded by audiences and the industry alike—and three years later, it still exists in a class of its own. There’s not a single forgettable song among its 10 (or 15, on the extended edition) tracks, and it’s mind-boggling to think she recorded and wrote the lyrics—and most of the music—at the age of 16.
Lorde became popular because she offered something different—not only a unique sound, but deeper themes and images than what is usually found in modern music. She’s more real and relatable for young people—her lyrics describe honest emotions and finding her place in her new-found fame. Her image is not one of a dolled-up pop star, but a normal (and extremely talented) teenager who values individuality and honesty.
The first half of the release contains the majority of the album’s best songs. Tracks two, three, and four—the upbeat looping ballad “400 Lux,” radio hit and social satire “Royals,” and the track about intimate romance, “Ribs”—are all contenders for the best songs of the album. While each song follows central themes, each track is distinctive and unique in its own value. Pure Heroine is greater than the sum of its parts, and each track adds central value to the release. There are no songs worth skipping, or that are not masterpieces in their own right. It’s rare that every track on an album is this amazing—there’s virtually no filler whatsoever.
Every lyric sheet is more poetic than typical pop lyrics, each requiring several listens to fully unpack. Some have truly deep isolated quotes worthy of a tattoo—“I live in a hologram with you,” or “Only bad people live to see their likeness set in stone.” Others are more romantic and lyrical—“We’re never done with killing time, can I kill it with you?” and “We’re hollow like the bottles that we drain.” Every track is quotable, and every lyric is a huge part of what makes the album great.
Lorde created a release that’s unmatched and game-changing. It is, in my opinion, one of the best debut albums of all time. It’s been three years, and the world awaits her slow to arrive but in-progress next album. If Pure Heroine showed what she was capable of as an intro, the follow-up could be even more amazing. She’s older, more famous, more mature, and more experienced than she was when she made the best album of the decade.
Lorde may be taking her time, but she remains active and working to create a solid sophomore release. I’m sure she’ll live up to the words of David Bowie, who called her the future of music.