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Pure Heroine
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:$9.34+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on February 11, 2014
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 the music complements the lyrics very well. 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. Listen to Buzz-cut Season a little loud with your eyes closed.

Watch the Tennis Court video on You Tube. Some find it creepy but I call it striking, captivating, brilliant and artistic. I wouldn't be surprised if she does some acting in the future.

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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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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VINE VOICEon February 6, 2014
Let me set the stage a bit, so you will understand the place from whence this review is founded. I came up in the musical time of hair bands, punk and electronic sampling. And John Denver. To say my musical tastes are eclectic would be a vast understatement. For the last decade or so, though, there has not been much new out there.

Then, like the rest of the world, I heard Royals, and I thought, "Huh...that's fresh." I listened to the tracks on the album, and decided to buy it. This was on Dec. 30. It's now February 6, and I can honestly tell you I have listened to Pure Heroine every day, multiple times. Every time I listen to it, I hear something different.

I think it's the simplicity that drew me in. Discounting the soaring vocals, the music is pure and very simple. Single chords and a drum beat make up most of the tracks. I didn't realize this, at first, because it sounds rich and full, but as I listened, I realized the "music" was actually the multilayered vocals. It's like A cappella on crack, with a drum beat and a tuning note.

So yeah, Royals...what a great song. Seriously. Speaks to the disenchantment of youth with the gimme more mentality of their elders. The other songs on the album are probably not going to reach out and grab you by the throat like Royals does. But in progressive listens, they sneak into your mind. I told my daughter,(who is 19 and also loves this album, which is a first for us, musically) every song on Pure Heroine is an ear worm.

Some of my favorite lyrics:

Glory and Gore - "We gladiate, but I think we're really fighting ourselves"
400 lux - "I'd like it if you'd stay" and "Where we can talk like there's something to say"
Tennis Court - "We're so happy even when we're smiling out of fear"
Ribs - "We're reeling through the midnight streets and I've never felt more alone..."

And so on...There is a lot to love here.

I wholeheartedly recommend a serious listen if you, like me, long for something beyond the radio happy drivel most music seems to be these days. I have been pimping this album to everyone I come into contact with lately.

This, to me, is a game changer, in the spirit of Nirvana, Guns and Roses, and Alanis Morissette. By this, I mean the music is new, and fresh, and will probably spawn many, many imitators. Lorde seems to have quite a handle on what she wants from this experience, and how she wants her brand to be presented. I can only hope this isn't a one hit wonder album. As with GnR and Alanis, and who knows what Nirvana would have done, it can be hard to maintain the level of angst necessary to generate impactful music when you are suddenly rich and famous. I really hope Lorde continues to be inspired by whatever muse led her to the music she hears and has shared with us.
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Dream Pop lives on with dark poet Lorde. Lorde's lyrical take on dream pop's hazy clean vocals is simply ethereal and divine! She writes lyrics with a darker mood on such topics as emotions, growing up in New Zealand, and love. The production is clean pop beats are their finest, most beautiful and minimalist. Catchy songs throughout with very personal, progressive, and mature ideas from such a young girl. Lorde sets herself up to be one of the finest songwriters in pop music. I grew to absolutely love this CD.
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on December 9, 2014
I'm not a big fan of mainstream music. I'm more into older artists such as The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and pretty much anything before 1980s pop came along (except for disco). Lorde is probably the first artist past the 1990s that I can actually call myself a true fan of. Her music has shown much more quality in the writing and actually means something more than drugs, sex, or money. Each song has a deeper meaning and can relate to situations that people (especially the youth) deal with. To be honest, I don't really care for Royals despite it probably being the most well known. My personal favorites are Buzzcut Season and Ribs. Lorde has truly shown her maturity in her song writing ability despite her young age and is clearly (in my opinion and any other "still sane" person) a superior to Miley Cyrus. " Ya ya ya ya I am Lorde!"
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on December 25, 2013
Like many others, I heard Royals on satellite radio and decided to explore the artist. Whether Lorde is 16 or 17 or 28 doesn't matter to me - the vocals are amazing. I ripped this into my iTunes and four of my iPods and the play count on every track is soaring. On Christmas day, after hearing twelve hours of holiday music, my son asked if I could play the Lorde songs.

I know there is a lot of talk about her being the next Amy Winehouse. I certainly hope she isn't, but I do see the vocal possibilities. Her treatment of the lyrics are very human and touching and I feel like I want to hang out and talk to her and see what she's like - and then I realize she's 16 or 17 or something and that's silly. Tennis Court is my favorite, yeah, and I rate is over Royals easily.

My search for more found her in the soundtrack for the latest Hunger Games and in a fair number or not-so-great music videos. I also found the Letterman performance that I enjoyed, but found her movements a bit strange. But, when I listen I find myself transported to another age and I really enjoy the journey.

I hope there are many more collections from Lorde over her career and I hope she keeps her head on straight and reaches her full potential. For now, I'm just going to wear this one out.
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on February 12, 2014
This record needs no fanfare because it is already racking up awards in the music industry. What I feel makes this stand out is Lorde's creative use of multi tracked harmonies.Her songs seem to not just represent herself, but her generation. She sings "WE" will never be Royals, as opposed to "I". The songs are fairly bare bones in accompaniment, which makes the vocals all the more vital. While a lot of these are built on a rap or hip hop beat, they are not either. These songs have an upswing in attitude and tend to enlighten rather than frighten. The harmony layers remind me more or church choirs than rap. Add in Lorde's modern look on life and you have a one of a kind artist. For a 17 year old girl from New Zealand, I am wondering what kinds of records she will be making in 10 years. This is the start of a career for her. Let's hope it's a good one.
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"Pure Heroine" is a strong set by Lorde. Two of the tracks caught my ear. The opener "Tennis Court" is addictive with its cowbell percussion and the nice build the song has plus the offbeat lyrics delivered with a flash of Adele, "I'll fall apart with all my heart & you can watch from your window." "Royals" is such a catchy track that it's hard to deny its working class sass, "Every song's like Gold teeth, Grey Goose, tripping in the bathroom." After I bought the CD and spun it a few times, I actually opened the booklet and realized that I'd seen Lorde in a television performance. While I wasn't so much impressed with her visual presentation -- kind of like a wild tiger suddenly free of the zoo, her music grabs you from the speakers. Enjoy!
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on November 5, 2013
To anyone giving negative reviews of this girl, you are clearly mistaken. Everyone keeps talking about how she has such a long way to go before being anything good because her music is "simple." In a world where Dubstep seems to be the hottest music now, I understand why you would say that. However, what you fail to realize is that Lorde is more about the notes that you do not play, instead of the notes you do, which she does in outstanding fashion. Calling her music "simple" shows that you know nothing about the composition of sounds. Please take another listen, and pay attention to every noise you hear, not just the loudest ones. A simple snap of the snare drum at a certain point in the song can make all the difference. It's funny how the negative reviews all sound like people are upset about the fact that she's doing this all at such a young age. Give her a break. I sat down and listened to some interviews after hearing this album because I was thoroughly intrigued, and with good reason. She is a very smart and observant person, and it shines through every time she speaks. Do yourselves a favor, and listen to this album through a few times, as it will continue to grow more and more on you. Again, her musical composition is stunning. Cannot wait to see her grow as an artist; she's going to move continents.
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on November 2, 2017
The music itself is great! I bought this in vinyl for my sons birthday and the first 2 songs on both sides are messed up and skip really bad. Had to send back :(

UPDATE! I just received a second vinyl record and this one is also messed up and warped. Are records not actually to be listened to anymore? It is not the record player because all his other records work fine.
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