Album Review: Solar Power

Album Review: Solar Power

Vaishnavi Nannapaneni, Staff writer

Lorde recently released her third studio album, Solar Power on August 20, 2021. Lorde has been critically acclaimed for her first two albums, Pure Heroine (2013) and Melodrama (2017). This time she takes a more bright and aesthetically pleasing approach, rather than her normal dark and depressing music. I will break down each song and compare them to her last album and I will give my honest opinion about them all.

  1.  “Stoned at the Nail Salon”-This song is so incredibly written it is astonishing. It feels as if it was pulled directly from the Melodrama album. The bridge on this song is so wonderfully done that it truly feels like a masterpiece. Lyrics such as “cause all the beautiful girls, they will fade like the roses” and “we’d go dancing all over the landmines under our town” these few lyrics are so amazing to hear with her vocals.
  2. “Secrets from a Girl (Who’s Seen it All)”-I love this song. It is so beautifully composed and her vocals sound angelic. Her lyrics like “couldn’t wait to turn 15 and then you blink and it has been 10 years” have such a coming of age feeling to them that remind me of her album, Pure Heroine
  3. “The Path”-The beginning instrumental is so mesmerizing and her build of the bridge is so perfectly done that this song becomes timeless. This song is so painfully personal to her that lyrics like “Teen millionaire having nightmares from the camera flash” and “Now I’m alone on a windswept island” show us that she is no longer the 16-year-old girl who created Pure Heroine, but that she grew up and she has evolved. I feel like this song could have been one of the first she ever released.
  4.  “The Man with the Axe”- This love song also feels like a song pulled out from Melodrama. This song is, simply, pretty. Her vocals sound good and the lyric “But there by the fire, you offered your hand. And as I took it, I loved you, the boy with the plan” are so wonderfully written. This song is a wonderful love song and it is a phenomenal song to listen to.
  5. “Leader of a New Regime”-This is one of the best songs on this album. This is a depressing type of song, but it is wonderful to listen to. In her second verse, she says “Free the keepers of the burnt-out scene another day” and it is so wonderfully produced that we can interpret that she is in her way begging for there to be a new leader and to give some of these people a break.
  6. “California”-This song reminds me a lot of “Party in the USA” by Miley Cryus for the reason that it’s about newcomers coming to Hollywood and being excited and overwhelmed. She talks about loving the good parts but hating the bad parts of growing up in the spotlight. Her lyricism brings you into her world and how she felt that way. The only reason this song is so low is because there are better songs on the album, but this song definitely deserves a listen for the sole reason that it talks about her journey to Solar Power from Pure Heroine and Melodrama. 
  7. “Solar Power”- A great song truly I mean it’s the first taste we got of this new album, but it’s been played a lot and it’s still perfect, but it’s slowly being overplayed
  8. “Mood Ring”-This song, to me, sounds a lot like “Solar Power”. It doesn’t offer anything unique or different to the album. It does have some good moments with lyrics like “Plants and celebrity news, all the vitamins I consume” and “We’ll keep dancing ’til the mood rings. Tell us how we’re feeling.” She speaks about trying to be connected to the world and yourself in a time where life feels fake and hard to live in. This song has been able to grow on me and slowly becomes very catchy.
  9. “Oceanic Feeling”-This feels like a song to be a part of the movie Midsummer. It is pretty low on my list for the reason that there are better songs on the album.  “Little brother, I think you’re an angel, I see your silver chain levitate” are my favorite lyrics of this song. It has a relaxed beat that feels like it is directly pulled from Melodrama.
  10. “Fallen Fruit”-This song has some very good moments such as “But how can I love what I know I am gonna lose?” This verse feels like it was pulled directly from Melodrama. The chorus has a type of relaxed euphoria type feel, but she also doesn’t offer the listener anything new. 
  11. “Big Star”-kind of disappointed me because it didn’t have any type of wow factor. It felt a lot like Billie Eilish’s song “Lost Cause” because for both you kind of expect for there to be a dramatic change in vocals and beat, but they’re just never is. This is a little bit of a letdown as we know Lorde can give incredible vocals and instrumentals as she has done in her song “Ribs”.
  12. “Dominoes”-This was one of the most underwhelming songs on the album, henceforth why it is so low on the list, it doesn’t have any moment that truly connects to me. This song is boring. It doesn’t have a moment that makes me feel something for this song. The chorus doesn’t have a substantial moment. It feels like one of her songs in Pure Heroin if the songs on there were plain. 

Before this album was released, Lorde had become a pop sensation. This led to a lot of unwanted expectations for her third and highly anticipated album. Solar power, in no way, could ever live up to the timelessness of Melodrama and Pure Heroine. Looking at this album without looking at her past discography makes it good, but I find it difficult to not look at her past work. It is catchy and all of the music flows nicely. This album shows us her growth from the last two albums. In comparison to her last album, I would give this one a solid 6/10, but if it was a stand-alone album I truly think it would be a 10/10.