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Showing 1-10 of 949 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,106 reviews
on September 30, 2013
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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on November 15, 2013
I am rather remiss to judge any artist by their age, but ultimately it's difficult to ignore the fact that this album was written by a 17-year old. The music and her voice are rather pleasant to listen to; if you like the first single "Royals" for the artistry you will not be disappointed by the album. A lot of the songs are similar, however

The songwriting is good, but the subject matter is really what makes this 4 instead of 5 stars for me. Personally, I find music the most appealing when its universal, when the lyrics could represent anyone's experiences. But this album feels like a sophisticated teenager's experiences. For example, from Tennis Course: "Don't you think that it's boring how people talk/Making smart with the words again/Well I'm bored...And I am only as young as the minute is..." Maybe I'm missing something, but it's hard to relate to.
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on October 1, 2013
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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on December 28, 2013
I just love this CD. I play it over and over.
Just wish there was a little bit of ..variety? Seems that most the songs are similar. I wouldn't say they're exactly the same. Great CD though I just love "Royals".
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on March 24, 2017
Love to hear her sing her songs. This album is packed full of great songs, awesome lyrics.
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on November 25, 2014
Love it, except all the songs basically sound the same, but if you like one song you'll like them all. It's a great white noise album.
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on November 20, 2013
Amazing album, I highly recommend buying it. She is a mix of Lana Del Ray and Florence and the Machine. Not a song on the album that I didn't like. Hope this helps!!
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on March 14, 2017
Great record plays wonderfully but took FOREVER to ship
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on August 14, 2015
love the album
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on March 13, 2014
So good!!! I love every song!! I can't believe how young she is and has such an incredible CD. K listen to it on repeat at work!
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