Song of the Day #2,388: ‘Liability’ – Lorde

I picked up Lorde’s sophomore album, Melodrama, a week or so back and I’m loving it. No slump here; this is an even more confident and cohesive work than Pure Heroine.

Working with fun. and Bleachers tunesmith Jack Antonoff, Lorde has put together an alt-pop soundscape that still showcases her signature angsty melodrama.

Thematically, Lorde’s subject matter is primarily her reaction to a recent breakup and her sudden fame, but she covers that familiar subject matter in a way that makes it feel universal. Contrast these songs to her pal Taylor Swift’s blatantly autobiographical material. Taylor is clearly singing about Taylor, while Lorde could be singing about any of us, even when we know she’s singing about herself.

Take standout track ‘Liability,’ in which Lorde acknowledges that her ubiquity might wear thin after awhile. It’s about a woman who’s become “a little much” for the people dealing with her baggage, and retreats to the solace of her relationship with herself (“the only love I haven’t screwed up”). You don’t have to be a rock star to identify with that.

This album feels more human than Pure Heroine, more casual, less guarded. I find some small detail to love in every track on this album, from the little explosion sound Lorde makes on ‘Homemade Dynamite’ to the shrugging delivery of this great line in ‘Louvre’: “They’ll hang us in the Louvre / Down the back, but who cares — still the Louvre.”

I liked and admired Pure Heroine but Melodrama is an album I want to hang out with. I have a feeling I’ll be doing just that all summer.

[Intro]
One, two

[Verse 1]
Baby really hurt me, crying in the taxi
He don’t wanna know me
Says he made the big mistake of dancing in my storm
Says it was poison
So I guess I’ll go home into the arms of the girl that I love
The only love I haven’t screwed up
She’s so hard to please but she’s a forest fire
I do my best to meet her demands, play at romance
We slow dance in the living room, but all that a stranger would see
Is one girl swaying alone, stroking her cheek

[Chorus]
They say, “You’re a little much for me, you’re a liability
You’re a little much for me”
So they pull back, make other plans
I understand, I’m a liability
Get you wild, make you leave
I’m a little much for e-a-na-na-na, everyone

[Verse 2]
The truth is I am a toy that people enjoy
‘Til all of the tricks don’t work anymore
And then they are bored of me
I know that it’s exciting running through the night
But every perfect summer’s eating me alive until you’re gone
Better on my own

[Chorus]
They say, “You’re a little much for me, you’re a liability
You’re a little much for me”
So they pull back, make other plans
I understand, I’m a liability
Get you wild, make you leave
I’m a little much for e-a-na-na-na, everyone

[Outro]
They’re gonna watch me disappear into the sun
You’re all gonna watch me disappear into the sun

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4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,388: ‘Liability’ – Lorde

  1. Madison says:

    Yay! I agree with all of this 🙂

    • Madison says:

      Scratch that, definitely don’t agree with the Taylor Swift part. Though she adds in more personal and autobiographical details into many of her songs, that often serves to make them more universal and define her experience in a much more powerful way. She and Lorde have different approaches to it, but Swift has mastered storytelling which reaches out to include her listener’s experience.

      • Clay says:

        :-). I was surprised by your first comment given the contrast to Swift! I agree that Swift does that some of the time but not all of the time, or maybe just not as effectively as Lorde (in my experience).

  2. Dana says:

    I like what I’ve heard so far from the new album and, given your high praise and my daughter’s enthusiasm, I look forward to hearing the rest of it.

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