Sober/Sober II (Melodrama)

In my household, it seems that Lorde’s second album has not caught on as much as her first one. It seems like we like her less as an angsty young adult than as a precocious adolescent. A big part of the appeal that shot her to fame was her ‘weird kid at the back of the class’ vibe, the way she turned a surprisingly perceptive eye on the feverish rituals of growing up. Her songwriting felt like a sleeper cell’s coded messages from inside a war zone. But precocious little girls have to grow up one day. If anyone could be expected to do it with grace and smarts, it’s Lorde, and she has. If it puts me off a little that her turf now includes the grownup matters of sex and drinking, it’s not because I didn’t want her to grow up. It’s because there’s already a lot of music being written about those things, from every imaginable perspective, and there always will be, because it’s songwriters’ Ground Zero. I want Lorde to work out whatever she has to work out with her first heartbreak and her first lessons in long lonely drunken nights, and move on to writing about something else already. She’s too good to get stuck writing about petty angst.