I found the album’s first single, and title song, a bit underwhelming after such a long wait. But I enjoyed its breeziness, and I think it’s just fine if she doesn’t try to redefine the sound of modern pop music every time she drops a record.
Lorde’s sophomore effort, 2017’s Melodrama, was an art-pop masterpiece, angsty and dramatic in all the best ways.
That album paved the way for Billie Eilish, whose extraordinary success has sucked up a lot of the musical air previously breathed by Lorde. You also hear echoes of it in some of Olivia Rodrigo’s songs. The emergence of those two stars since Lorde last recorded means she is now the third most popular Gen Z pop star.