Ever since she first emerged, Lorde has been one of the most relaxed and seldom-seen pop stars to have broken through in the last decade. After releasing her incredible 2013 debut album 'Pure Heroine' when she was just 16 years old, she took an extended break from the limelight, eventually reemerging in 2017 for her equally-accomplished sophomore LP 'Melodrama'. And not one to disrupt a pattern, four years later we find ourselves sitting with her third full-length 'Solar Power', a record that looks to redefine her sound as she grows out of her adolescence.
Working this time with the current producer of choice for many, Jack Antonoff, 'Solar Power' sees her remove nearly all shreds of her dark and subdued origins in pursuit of something a little lighter. It has been a trait of Antonoff's production style to create a more stripped-back aesthetic for the artists that he works with, but when it comes to Lorde, it is so far from her traditional style that it is almost hard to get used to. It is clear that this new effort is more about seeing herself as a fully-formed artist exploring musical avenues, but just doesn't retain that same spark we have gotten used to from her in the past.
The material is still a wonderfully warm and inviting collection of sweeping harmonies, but 'Solar Power' seems to lack a lot of the magic we have come to appreciate from her over the years. A brave and confident shot at redefining herself, even if it doesn't quite inspire as much as she has before.