words: Nina Braca
Throughout the course of Lorde’s hypnotic sophomore album Melodrama, Ella turns heartache into songs you can dance (and cry) to. It catalogues the sloppiness of a breakup and everything that comes with it: emptiness, a fleeting feeling of freedom, followed by regret, and a million different revelations. And with each revelation and each stage of her healing, Lorde blessed us with musical masterpieces. “Microphone to my chest/ broadcast the boom boom boom boom and make ‘em all dance to it” We weren’t really on a journey with Ella, but we were watching her heal from a distance, going through the raw emotions of a breakup, dancing along with her heartache. It’s deep and almost feels too personal, as if you’re reading the private diary of a stranger, but it's so raw and relatable that you can’t stop reading.
A lot of this album is filled with imagery or subtle references to New York City, where most of the album was written with Jack Antonoff. Ella throws around the ideas of subways and taxis in addition to late night strolls through empty streets, as seen in her Green Light music video. Ella takes the concept of an “emotional rollercoaster” and turns it into a less glamorized “emotional taxi ride” which is more or less a long, drawn-out ride of unexpected realizations. We’ve all been there, with Ella, crying in a taxi at some point in our lives. We just didn’t turn it into art the way she did.
In what is, in my opinion, the most pivotal part of the album, Ella articulated a familiar phrase :“in my head in my head I do everything right.” This hit me the hardest, since I tend to think that everything I do and say has to be right...right? That’s hardly ever the case. We are only given one perspective from a situation, and we always want to be right. When it comes to breakups and heartache, it’s hard to always be right. But Lorde did a good job at letting us know that she doesn’t have to be.