Lorde – Royals

First Hit #1: October 12, 2013

It’s interesting that it’s taken this long to get a song that’s against hedonism. Lorde, with her minimal, finger-snap beat, has made a song about rejecting the hedonistic fantasy and then aiming for something else entirely. It’s not completely clear what she’s replacing the fantasy with – there’s a kind of power thing going on but it’s never really clear what the Queen Bee parts are actually referring to – and it’s still a song about clubbing. It’s a song about clubbing on the cheap and being fine with that, but it’s just removing any bragging about wealth. This is only new to the pop charts, of course, country music has always had a pride in being less than wealthy, but it’s at least kind of interesting for that. It’s also fairly interesting in the way it’s performed, since Lorde at least gives a relatively unorthodox performance on the chorus which keeps things interesting. It’s no revolution, but it’s kind of neat anyway.

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2 Responses to Lorde – Royals

  1. musicosity1 says:

    One can only assume “Queen Bee” is an inside joke; I hope it wasn’t just chosen to rhyme with “fantasy.” The last few #1s, this one included, show a delightful diversity of styles, with this one the sparsest of the bunch, getting by simply on melody and harmony with a trace of DIY percussion. It includes three distinct melodic sections which alternate fairly strictly. and then quit before getting stale.

    Naturally, a song this popular generated scrutiny and then a backlash, with the accusation of racism because the most of materialistic tropes she critiques (“gold teeth, Grey Goose, trippin’ in the bathroom, blood stains, ball gowns, trashin’ the hotel room,… Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece, jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash.”) seem drawn from rap and R&B videos; ergo, she’s being racist by critiquing black materialism rather than white materialism. To which all I can say is: Duh. She’s 18, and five years ago when she was 13, R&B and hip hop were dominating the charts, so those are the videos that she saw. However, let the record show that white people can be just as materialistic, and it will be interesting to see what sorts of reports show up about Lorde on TMZ now that she’s become pop royalty herself.

  2. JM says:

    I think that Thrift Shop was also in the “anti-hedonistic” vein. They bookend 2013 nicely.

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