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202 of 218 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Soft Alternative Rock Meets Hip Hop For Lorde's Debut, But Listen Before You Buy
Two things first: the majority of songs on this album don't come anywhere close to the radio friendliness of "Royals" and this album is most certainly a grower instead of an immediate sugar rush. Best advice--find these songs on YouTube or elsewhere and really listen before you decide whether or not buying the entire album is for you. You will be disappointed if you're...
Published 6 months ago by Madeline

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67 of 88 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review from a certified non-teenager
As other reviewer's have noted, Pure Heroine presents a fairly solid album from what many would expect to be a one hit wonder. However, what seems to be missing from the effusive praise of other reviews is a note on two particular items:

1. While stylistic comparisons to Beth Orton and similar artists are appropriate on a variety of fronts, such comparisons...
Published 6 months ago by M. Howell


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202 of 218 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Soft Alternative Rock Meets Hip Hop For Lorde's Debut, But Listen Before You Buy, September 30, 2013
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This review is from: Pure Heroine (MP3 Music)
Two things first: the majority of songs on this album don't come anywhere close to the radio friendliness of "Royals" and this album is most certainly a grower instead of an immediate sugar rush. Best advice--find these songs on YouTube or elsewhere and really listen before you decide whether or not buying the entire album is for you. You will be disappointed if you're expecting 10 songs similar to "Royals", but if you keep an open mind then I think you can really experience something special.

Much has been made of New Zealand's 16 year old Ella Yelich-O'Connor's skyrocket ascension into the top of the charts--but when it comes right down to it--all I'm concerned about is whether she delivers. And I think she does--not in the way I was expecting, but in a way that makes me incredibly excited about her future and solidifies her as more than a one trick pony in my book. Lyrically Ella is both wise beyond her years as well as still a teenager, constantly walking a tricky balance of keen life observations mixed with insecurity and idealism.

This album is extremely cohesive both thematically and musically, relying on minimal electronic pulses and a bass line that that grounds the entire album but never takes the forefront. This enables Ella to basically do whatever she feels like with the melody and use her own voice in layers and loops to become another instrument. Ella stays comfortably in her hypnotic lower register for the most part and paired with the stark and aloof beats makes this album sound different from every mainstream young pop starlet.

But unfortunately, it means a few songs towards the middle all sound similar by lacking either a buildup or any special sound to really differentiate them. The album is essentially front and back loaded though with "Tennis Court", "Royals", "White Teeth Teens", and "A World Alone" being the must have tracks. The middle contains some growers like "Team", but the rest will have you pressing the skip button unless you just so happen to really connect to the lyrics.

That said, Ella's fearlessness in creating an album that is just so out there is commendable and pays off when she gets everything lined up perfectly. The fact that she was discovered when she was 12 by a major label actually makes me appreciate even more just how hard she must have had to fight to write her own songs (which she does) and craft an album that is all her. Her best moments scream volumes of what she's capable of in the future, and I know that I'll be along for the ride.

Ella doesn't sound that similar to any of these artists but I bet if you enjoy artists like Charli XCX, London Grammar, BANKS, Earl Sweatshirt (in attitude), Fiona Apple, Ruby Frost, or even Bipolar Sunshine that you'll at least enjoy the standout tracks here. Think lovechild between Lana Del Rey and Kanye.
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99 of 113 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For those who want to know...Do I buy the single Royals or the entire album?, October 1, 2013
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This review is from: Pure Heroine (Audio CD)
The short answer is...buy the album.

Yes, the song Royals hit #1 on the charts and Lorde is the first solo female to top the alternative song's chart in 17 years. But let's focus on the rest of the album... Most critics are giving it strong reviews, and Billboard ranked it 94/100. Why? She writes intelligent lyrics, has a good voice, and has music that has a presence. More importantly, she is authentic.

Casual listeners will like the song Team, which will be her next top hit. It is a great song with lyrics like. "I'm kinda over getting told to throw my hands up in the air... ...I'm kinda older when I reveled without a care..." that will play in your head long after the song ends. The songs Tennis Court, Ribs and White Teeth Teens will also likely be in heavy rotation.

I agree that some songs will take a few listens. The three I have on repeat now are Glory and Gore, 400 Lux and A World Alone, but give them a few listens and they may become your favorites. For me, this is my favorite album of the year so far.

As an aside, I was fortunate to see her Seattle concert last weekend. It was an amazing show. She came out in "stage mode," serious and slightly mysterious. However, she was greeted with such an enthusiastic crowd reaction, and these were true fans that were singing along with every song, that then she revealed her surprise, slight embarrassment and delight. She was genuine. It was a great moment to see. And I look forward to many more albums from her!

People who liked this may also like.... My Pandora Lorde station played songs from Lights and Purity Ring that you may want to check out.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the most down-to-earth modern music out there., January 9, 2014
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This review is from: Pure Heroine (Audio CD)
A delightfully simple record, Lorde's debut album Pure Heroine is driven solely by her voice, a beat, and light synth tones. Lorde's album comes straight from the heart; her songs explore various themes and aspects of small-town adolescence that are relatable to many young people. Her perspective is genuine and realistic, which portrays her like a long-time friend one is beckoned to listen to and not a celebrity looking for some dough.

“Royals” and “Buzzcut Season” exhibit a youthful spirit by promoting friendship and one’s imagination. Lorde advocates that fame shouldn’t influence one’s sense of enjoyment and one can live out their fantasies even if they’re just make-believe. “Ribs” and “White Teeth Teens” explore newfound adolescent feelings of solitude, lust, fear, and self-reflection, revealing Lorde’s cautious yet hopeful nature. “Team” sounds melancholy as Lorde croons about living in an unknown town, depression, and ruined dreams as she’s getting tired of being told to “put [her] hands up in the air, so there.” However, the song captures the essence of friendship and always having someone’s back during good and bad times, establishing the aforementioned team. “Still Sane” demonstrates Lorde’s persistence and optimism; she encounters “bruises” when she slips up, but she doesn’t give in and reminds listeners that, “only bad people live to see their likeness set in stone” because one’s work never truly stops.

There’s a risk that a simple album like this can end up with being that all the songs sound the same. This is untrue for Pure Heroine. Lorde establishes different foci for each song while maintaining the bigger picture of youth and dreams. The production on this album is flawless; the beat and synth on each track supplement Lorde’s honest vocals without overshadowing them, allowing each song’s message to be delivered to listeners with a meaningful impact.

Lorde is off to a grand start with Pure Heroine. The album promotes the innocence of adolescence and suburbia, touching upon friendship, popularity, dreams, an abundance of emotions, and commitment. Her messages aren’t muddied by overdone production; an easy beat and soft synth chords enhance Lorde’s lyrics and allow listeners to openly absorb the heart of the album. What really makes this album stand out is how approachable it is. Most young people can easily connect with the relevant music presented in Pure Heroine. Like them Lorde is a product of a suburban no-name community, which allows her to create realistic music that is honest and relevant. Lorde evokes wisdom, dedication, and heart, characteristics that make Pure Heroine an approachable and powerful compilation of well-conveyed early life realizations.
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67 of 88 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review from a certified non-teenager, October 11, 2013
This review is from: Pure Heroine (Audio CD)
As other reviewer's have noted, Pure Heroine presents a fairly solid album from what many would expect to be a one hit wonder. However, what seems to be missing from the effusive praise of other reviews is a note on two particular items:

1. While stylistic comparisons to Beth Orton and similar artists are appropriate on a variety of fronts, such comparisons fail to address the fact that the music on nearly every track is so similar as result in most of the tracks seeming to blend together. Other than "royals" most of the tracks fail to distinguish them by varying tremendously in style or tempo. There is a lot of slow, pounding base, which isn't a bad thing, but that should be a starting point rather than an ending point.

2. As someone who is officially NOT a teenager (someone who actually buys CDs and spent much of my teen years in actual, bonafide record stores), I don't relate at all to some sixteen year old who talks about her stress over aging not just on one song, but on four. Seriously. While some immaturity is to be expected by an artist so young (e.g. No one understands me, etc.) Lorde plays the themes of aging, responsibility, and lack of socio-economic privilege to a point where they appear either to be obsessions for her, or, more worisomely, manufactured. In any case the themes are so heavily pushed I several places as I think many people who are older than twenty may find it distracting, and frankly, just too overwrought to take seriously.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review by a 60 year old guy, February 11, 2014
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This review is from: Pure Heroine (MP3 Music)
First of all, don't buy the "all the songs sound the same" reviews. Unless you just think all synthesizer based songs sound the same. It seems to me that they did in fact try to make each song have its own feeling. She has said that for her it's all about the lyrics and using her voice as an instrument since she doesn't play any instruments on her recordings.

I got "Ribs" as the free iTunes song of the week. I thought "this is pretty interesting". So I checked out the rest of her songs and I found that I liked all of them! Double shock, she's only 16 and she wrote the lyrics! And she seems like a great kid. A little integrity won't hurt the music business.

I have been looking for new music to like for quite a while and not finding much. This is the trouble with growing up listening to the likes of The Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, etc..

When I listen to Lorde, I hear a lot of layers of meaning in the lyrics. I also think for the most part, the music fits very well with the lyrics. Although I know teens probably hear different things in the songs, I hear sarcasm, satire, social conscience, teen angst, fear, determination and a lot of honesty. She claims she can "stay good", that she won't fall into the traps that have plagued rising stars for a long time. She has made promises to us in her music and I feel like she really means to keep them. Time will tell.

I also think Royals is not the best song (for me) on the album (and EP). Buzz-cut Season, Bravado, Team, Tennis Court and Glory and Gore are excellent. Listen to them a few times. Watch the Tennis Court video on You Tube. Some find it creepy but I call it striking, captivating, brilliant and artistic.

She even dresses great. The black getup she wore on Letterman was great. And she has so many different looks. Love all that hair!

Might as well chime on the boyfriend. Leave the kid alone! She has a boyfriend who understands artistic drive and isn't in the same business, that's a good thing. If she's happy, great.

Finally, I don't buy the claim she is a hypocrite. She plainly states that she likes buying things but also says "I know they'll never own me".There is nothing wrong with wanting to make money.

If Lorde is a manufactured snow job, it's an excellent and enjoyable one. If she can put out another album half as good as this, I'll buy it. It will be interesting to see how her music evolves.

I wish her good luck on her journey.

Edit, April 17, 2014,
After listening to this and the Love Club EP over 100 times, I like it even more. The music works perfectly to accentuate the lyrics and the layering of Lorde's harmonies and nuances of her voice in different cuts really makes the music perfect.

P.S., check out London Grammar for songs where the singers voice is the driving force behind music.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soaring, October 3, 2013
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This review is from: Pure Heroine (Audio CD)
I remember being sixteen. I remember turning off the lights in my room, turning on the Cranberries, and drowning in aching sweetness. There was so much truth to the music, to the voice, to the darkness - if I could only swim through it deeply enough, I would experience everything.

It is clear that Lorde has done this as well. Her voice is haunting and evocative; it takes you by the hand and brings you soaring and swooping to places you may not remember, but you have certainly visited before. Beautiful places, rife with mystery, where you can lose yourself for hours.

I listened to the album for the first time in the car, driving in the rain as the world transformed to a perfect blue. When I got home Buzzcut Season was playing.

I parked in the driveway, lost myself in the rain, and shut my eyes to the song that plays.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album, April 7, 2014
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This review is from: Pure Heroine (MP3 Music)
Usually, I only buy the songs I like, never the whole album, but after listening to the samples I decided to get the album and it was totally worth it. I love nearly every song on the album and like other reviewers have said; the lyrics are very intelligent. Money well spent!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review from a 50 year old, March 29, 2014
This review is from: Pure Heroine (Audio CD)
This is a great CD. Every song is beautifully crafted. Each song is a little different too. The band has excellent variety. This will undoubtetly go down in history as one of the great albums of all time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I didn't expect to love it this much., February 22, 2014
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This review is from: Pure Heroine (MP3 Music)
Pop music generally isn't my genre... Dancin' in da club, put your #$& in the air, we gettin' so drunk tonight, etc. etc. etc. Great for working out or dancing to, but terrible in most other contexts. At least, to me. I love pop for what it IS (a good beat and some catchy, but silly, lyrics), but I don't think anyone would call it thoughtful, interesting music.

This album, though, does feel thought-out. It feels like it has been crafted to create an real experience for the listener. Each song has its own mood and flavor, evoking everything from loneliness and fear of the unknown to youthful defiance. I don't usually buy pop music since I'm sick of the songs within a month, but this one is going to remain in my "Most Played" list for a while.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good music if you like female vocals, February 15, 2014
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This review is from: Pure Heroine (MP3 Music)
There are some really good songs on this album. I rarely get tired of listening to the CD.
The vocals and bass compliment each other well.
I strongly recommend that you check this one out.
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Pure Heroine
Pure Heroine by Lorde (Audio CD - 2013)
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