Track Review: Lorde, ‘Liability’
Lorde returns with a moving second single, “Liability,” ahead of her highly-anticipated sophomore album, ‘Melodrama.’
New Zealand standout Lorde turned heads with “Green Light,” her comeback single following the success of her 2013 debut album, Pure Heroine. “Green Light” didn’t outshine Grammy-winning juggernaut “Royals,” but renewed interest in the alt-pop musician. Her second single, “Liability,” provides a further lift to sophomore album, Melodrama, due June 16, 2017.
“Green Light” was electrifying modern pop record, while “Liability” is a reflective ballad. Singer-songwriter sensibilities are written all over it. The lyrics are incredibly poetic and thoughtfully performed as well. Lorde focuses on her smokier lower register, which truly adds drama. As far as the production, it’s conservative, led by piano with no percussion. The overall result is nothing short of beautiful.
On the chorus, Lorde ascends higher, into her middle register, further amplifying the intensity:
“They say, ‘you’re a little much for me / You’re a liability / You’re a little much for me’ / So they pull back, make other plans / I understand, I’m a liability / Get you wild, make you leave / I’m a little much for / Everyone.”
Focusing on the lyrics, Lorde sings about being high maintenance. This has ruined her relationships. She knows what she wants, and ultimately, has herself. Her vulnerability sounds authentic. On the first verse, she asserts:
“So I guess I’ll go home / Into the arms of the girl that I love / The only love I haven’t screwed up / She’s so hard to please / But she’s a forest fire / I do my best to meet her demands.”
On the second verse, she paints a picture of being misunderstood:
“The truth is I am a toy / That people enjoy / ‘Til all of the tricks don’t work anymore / And then they are bored of me.”
Ultimately, Lorde delivers another fantastic preview into Melodrama with “Liability.” The song is beautifully and thoughtfully written, not to mention an equally compelling vocal from Lorde. While this ballad may struggle to electrify the airwaves, it is impressive regardless.