Good Lorde! Nobody anticipated that the 16-year-old New Zealander’s brilliant “Royals” would pack the kind of unprecedented mainstream success it’s had, but lo and behold, the song is (at the time of this writing) #1 on the iTunes Singles Chart and #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. For her debut album, Pure Heroine, all Lorde had to do was replicate that same winning formula, and she has (and then some): The gleaming “Tennis Court” and the triumphant “Team” set the tone for the sound of the record, all produced by Joel Little, while standouts “Ribs,” a pulsating dance number, and the sparkling “400 Lux” reinforce Lorde’s extraordinarily inventive songwriting and gift for melody.
Pure Heroine is one of the albums of the year from an artist who proved an unexpected breakout star, but earned it. The LP drops September 30, but you can stream it in full over at VH1.