Track Review: Lorde, ‘Green Light’
Lorde returns after a four-year hiatus. The New Zealand singer/songwriter makes an impressive return with “Green Light.”
After a four-year hiatus, Lorde is back! In 2013, Lorde became a star, thanks to Grammy-winning, alt-pop hit single, “Royals.” She’d go on to have other hits off of Pure Heroine, but “Royals” was her ‘ace in the hole.’ Now approaching 21, the singer/songwriter is older and more mature. Even if “Royals” showed incredible maturity for a teenager, she fits the part now. On “Green Light,” she gets the green light to expand upon her artistry.
Clearly, from a first listen, “Green Light” sounds nothing like Lorde has released up until this point. It’s odd at first, but grows on you with successive listens. The fact that Lorde switches things up is a pro. Face it, she’s never going to have another “Royals” – that’s a once in a lifetime hit. That doesn’t mean she can’t find sustainable success. “Green Light” being a departure gives her a fresh start – a different sound. It isn’t a complete 180 considering this is still alt-pop, but there’s more of a danceable groove that’s different.
Most interesting is the tone of Lorde’s voice. It’s not particularly smooth, but rather raspy, with a coarseness. From the jump, her intensity is a selling point, giving “Green Light” some bite. Also interesting is her reliance on her lower register, something that occurs during the pre-chorus section. Here, she doesn’t sound particularly refined, but it’s clear that’s the effect she desires.
“But I hear sounds in my mind / Brand new sounds in my mind / But honey I’ll be seein’ you ‘ever I go / But honey I’ll be seein’ you down every road / I’m waiting for it, that green light, I want it.”
On the chorus, everything comes together. Ultimately, it’s as infectious as… a four-letter word. Add in danceable production work, and fantastic backing vocals, and “Green Light” rocks!
“’Cause honey I’ll come get my things, but I can’t let go / I’m waiting for it, that green light, I want it.”
So, is the return of Lorde worthy of the hype? Definitely. This is a clear contrast to “Royals” and Pure Heroine, but it is a welcome comeback. Does Lorde have a big year forthcoming? Again, the answer is DEFINITELY.