Lorde, Melodrama, album reviews round-up: Critics praise 'best modern-pop album of 2017'

Fans have waited four years for the singer-songwriter's follow-up to debut Pure Heroine

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The Independent Culture

Lorde has dropped her second album after a four-year wait and music critics have been unanimous in their praise.

The New Zealand singer-songwriter - who will play Glastonbury Festival next week - released her acclaimed debut Pure Heroine in 2013 at the age of 17 and many writers are claiming her latest record is the best pop album of the year so far.

Below are a compilation of the verdicts:

The Independent - Roisin O'Connor

"Fuelled by a black humour that’s almost become her trademark, there’s heartbreak and ecstasy, desire, fear, uncertainty, acting on impulse, making mistakes and (maybe) learning from them. And those are tunes we can definitely dance to."\

The Guardian - Alexis Petridis

"For all its odd misfires, [Melodrama] makes a great deal of the stuff that sits alongside it in the charts look pretty feeble by comparison. If that sounds like faint praise, it isn’t meant to be: if it was easy to make hugely successful mainstream pop music as smart as this, then everybody would be at it. And they patently aren’t."

The Telegraph - Neil McCormick - 5 stars

"What is truly fantastic about Lorde is that here is an original, emotional, intellectual, imaginatively audacious singer-songwriter operating at the highest artistic level yet putting it across as easy-access modern mainstream pop. Melodrama deserves to be a blockbuster."

Pitchfork - Stacey Anderson

"Lorde captures emotions like none other. Her second album is a masterful study of being a young woman, a sleek and humid pop record full of grief and hedonism, crafted with the utmost care and wisdom."

Variety - Chris Willman

"If Melodrama sometimes feels like the artsier version of “1989,” there are plenty of reasons why that wouldn’t be an accident, from the fact that Lorde has a mutual admiration thing going with her fellow pop royal to Antonoff having produced three songs on Swift’s emo-bubblegum triumph... And with Melodrama, the best modern-pop album of 2017 so far, Lorde has taken a particularly big record-to-record leap."

The New York Times - Jon Pareles

Writing about parties and untrue love, Lorde risks joining the pop pack instead of upending it the way she did with Pure Heroine. But she still has the immediacy of her voice, with its smokiness, melancholy and barely suppressed rage, and she refuses to let her lyrics resolve into standard pop postures.

USA Today - Maeve McDermott

"With Melodrama, fans know now what a truly grown-up Lorde album sounds like, and they’re in luck, because it’s the best pop release of 2017 thus far, cementing the singer’s status as one of her generation’s most essential stars."