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4.0 out of 5 stars Lorde - Teenage Kicks, 21 Oct. 2013
This review is from: Royals (MP3 Download)
Lorde, born Ella Yelich-O'Connor, has shot from obscurity to superstardom. This single "Royals" has been Number One in the US and is now performing a similar feat in the UK. The New Zealand singer appeared on Jools Holland a few weeks back and you immediately headed to internet to find out about this talent. Once the shock of her young age is absorbed you proceed to listen more carefully and conclude that "Royals" is a great piece of pop music. The opening verse of the song starts with the savvy lines that "I've never seen a diamond in the flesh/I cut my teeth on wedding rings in the movies/And I'm not proud of my address/In a torn-up town, no postcode envy". There are established stars still waiting for the inspiration to write lyrics that good. The song itself is about an attack on the religion of conspicuous consumption and pop glamour often wrongly associated as the driving motive for the average 16 year old.

Lorde cites influences like Burial and The Weeknd. The latter has returned the compliment and produced a much slowed up mix of this song which is well worth seeking out. While you are searching you may also stumble across numerous other mixes including one by Ross Hitchings (yuk), another by Magnifik (ok) and yet another by Wild Boyz (excellent). Lorde credits her unique sound to being a child of the internet age who can access an inexhaustible range of references. Let us hope therefore that she is a pioneer of a new generation of smart pop stars who use the net as sound magpies and push music forward. The question it begs is whether we are witnessing the birth of something new and lasting (remember Stevie Wonder was 16 on his first big hit) or is this another Lana Del Rey moment with a song becoming so ubiquitous that for while it seems to push everything else off the front page? With the her big song "Tennis Court" also threatening world domination you sense that there is the birth of rare real talent occurring and "Royals" is undoubtedly the second best pop single of 2013 (Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" is unbeatable). Ultimately we may also wish to reflect that its far more edifying and uplifting than watching a young girl swinging naked on a wrecking ball.
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Red on Black
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