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Fans of Lorde, the 16-year-old pop star, have been eagerly awaiting her debut album since "Royals" started going viral. Luckily for them, the singer has made Pure Heroine available to stream via VH1 a week ahead of its September 30 release. Like her hit single, the album has enough electronic elements to help it sit comfortably on the charts, but the beats are all simple and pared-down, which helps give the album a more organic feel than the EDM-pop club bangers that have become so popular recently. Sonically, it gives off the impression that it could have been made in Lorde's bedroom, with some beats she put together herself, which perfectly compliments Lorde's anti-glamour pop star persona. The songs are distinctly undanceable, and her voice gives the lyrics the kind of longing that music about being a teenager requires.
To put it bluntly, Pure Heroine is the album that Lana Del Rey wishes she made. This isn't meant to provoke a debate about Del Rey's "authenticity" versus Lorde's — after all, all pop stars have cultivated personas, and where Del Rey is a trailer park Lolita, Lorde is the "realistic" pop star. However, where Born to Die was overproduced in places, layering echoes over strings over electronic beats, Pure Heroine's minimal production allows the songs to shine in a way that Del Rey's couldn't quite manage. Lorde also manages to make each song on her album distinct and unique, with which Del Rey had some trouble. Many of Lorde's songs are tinged with the same kind of longing found on Born to Die — which is probably a result of her being an actual teenager — but keeps it all from feeling one-note. It's almost as if Lorde took all of the things that were good from Del Rey's debut and fine-tuned them to create a better, more interesting result.
Lorde has also perfectly timed the release of her debut. In the upcoming months, there are several attention-grabbing albums coming out, including ones from Miley Cyrus (October 4), Katy Perry (October 22) and Lady Gaga (November 11). Not only does an earlier release guarantee Lorde the press she deserves, but it will give fans a chance to get acquainted with the songs before we're all bombarded with club banger after club banger. Lorde is establishing herself as the foil to the over-the-top pop divas of our time - through both her music and her personality - and people seeking something normal or relatable on the pop charts will flock to Pure Heroine.
The New Zealander has been quoted as saying that she wants to make something "real" that kids can relate to, and so far her desire for authenticity has served her well. There's sure to be at least two more hit singles off of Pure Heroine and hopefully Lorde's success will allow for more artists like her to break through to the mainstream. Either way, it seems like Lorde's quest for an anti-pop star is going to make her a genuine one.
You can stream Pure Heroine below, or purchase the album when it's released next week.