Vevo X Lorde Series: Melodrama UnraveledBy Rosa Pyo | 11/11/17 6:42pm
Lorde isn’t your average musician. She is effervescent. A phenomenal woman. Despite starting in the music industry at fourteen, an age usually ripe of neon braces and awkward romantic encounters, she irrevocably had “it.” Je ne sais quoi. Divine energy. Ether. Call it what you will but I think everyone can agree dropping an album, much less a grammy award winning one, is a feat worthy of Odysseus and the other Greek heroes and by sixteen she did both. Pure Heroine ended up being the tracklist dripping with synchronized beats playing on a lux loop decrying what it means to be a teenager. An honest criticism. Now at the brink of her adulthood she has released Melodrama, a beautiful continuation of the same damned thing of youth.
One thing I always loved and disliked about Lorde’s music is the lack of instrumentals. On one side her reasoning behind this was purposeful since she wanted the focus on her voice and only that, but there is something about instruments in a new digital era that has always added so much more drama and truth to a song. Like a godsend Melodrama incorporated more instrumentals such as the piano in “Writer in the Dark” and “Liability” and violins in “Sober II (Melodrama)” inspiring the same melodramatic sound she hoped for. Maturing even more as an artist with a collaboration with Vevo, she released a series of acoustic renditions of six of her songs: Supercut, The Louvre, Sober, Writer in the Dark, Hard Feelings/Loveless, and Homemade Dynamite. In this series she is completely stripped down, her music, her emotions, her performance, everything. When an artist can offers us this kind vulnerability, it truly is something to be still and listen to with eyes that mark it as something divine.
Unlike the original where the piano seems to have mystic quality of an eerie echo and the synchronized beat in the background, her unraveled version begins with a piano simply playing the chords. The piano isn’t much, it’s one you would find in your local church’s basement, but it’s simplicity ties into how although her music is being stripped down, it is not being watered down. I find the true beauty of the song is right in the pre-chorus. There is something about the chorus behind Lorde uttering her every other word that creates a masterpiece.
The first minute takes one of the most heart wrenching verses and strips it to just acapella. No, not the frilly collegiate peppy acapella, but one that understands the understated has power too. It’s honest and sounds almost like a speech to a heartbreaker. The layering, the smooth “ohs,” Lorde’s voice. Beautiful.