Lorde Pure Heroine

LordePure Heroine
New Zealand import Lorde (aka Ella Yelich-O'Connor) is an intriguing artist. Straddling the lines of pop and the hip-hop-influenced R&B so prevalent in the contemporary scene, Lorde nonetheless imbues a heightened level of self-awareness into the whole proceedings. Much talked about self-reflexive single "Royals" "tut-tuts" and "harrumphs" about consumerist excess — popping bottles and all that — while Lorde displays a "wise beyond her 16 years" persona on "Ribs" ("it feels so scary getting old") and the blackly satirical "Glory and Gore" ("We gladiate, but I guess we're really fighting ourselves"). "Team" is electro hip-hop, "Tennis Court" is more mature than contemporaries nearly twice her age, while "White Teeth Teens" feels downright Lykke Li-ish. Lorde is just so damn confident. With lyrics steeped in critical thought and slathered with confidently modulated vocals, Lorde is the antithesis of pop schlock, making Pure Heroine a project well deserving of the commercial attention it's been receiving. (Universal)