“Green Light” Gets A Yellow Light
On March 3rd, 2017, Lorde released “Green Light” – her first single since 2014. And my brain ex-PLODED.
I have been a Lorde superfan for the past four years. Some experts place the number of times I have heard her first full-length album, Pure Heroine, at upwards of 10,000 times. Others place it at 20,000. I’m not messing around when it comes to my deep, intense, and spiritual love for Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor – aka, Lorde.
Being just one year older than me, I feel that Lorde’s music has matured alongside me. Now, she has announced the release of her sophomore album, Melodrama, and I am in my sophomore year of college. (((Basically, we are BFFs.))) The release of “Green Light” felt like a promise directly from My Queen herself: we would be transitioning into young adulthood together.
Then I listened to the new song, and I became conflicted.
“Green Light” starts like Lorde’s usual dream-pop ballads. Lorde is solo on the piano while slow, romantic lyrics begin. Her vocals are deep and scratchy, expressing emotion. It is bittersweet.
The song is pretty clearly about heartbreak. She says in the refrain:
“Thought you said that you would always be in love. But you’re not in love no more,”
(((For those not in the know, Lorde and her boyfriend of five years – photographer James Lowe – broke up in January 2016. The album Melodrama will chart her journey and growth over the past year.)))
Then – halfway through the first chorus – Lorde drops a beat. A delicious 80’s-style synthesizer beat. While her vocals stay the same, the background of the song speeds up, pushing the song forward.
“Did it frighten you? How we kissed when we danced on the light up floor?”
Now, normally, the 80’s and Lorde would sound like the perfect combination, but something about Lorde’s swift transition from dark ballads to dance pop seems false.
I worry that the influence of the music industry has changed Lorde’s style permanently. The song – written and produced by Lorde and Jack Antonoff – is clearly more within the world of pop hit-makers like The Chainsmokers and Jason Derulo than the unique voices of Lorde’s known influences, such as Grimes and Sleigh Bells. I’m scared my gal is going to get swallowed up by big-bad Hollywood.
But, only time will tell. Maybe “Green Light” is the dance pop first single, but the rest of Melodrama will return to the moody, slow world of Pure Heroine. Or, maybe Lorde’s music will have changed just as she and I have. Maybe, for Lorde, growing up means a sick vintage dance beat behind sad lyrics.
And – in the tradition of great superfans of the past – I will stick with Lorde through any of it. Whether she becomes a pop princess or sticks to the emo darling aesthetic, I will be here defending Lorde until she is on her 4th comeback tour.
About the Author
Writer & Editor
Sky is a sophomore theatre and SCOM double major. She is excited to be an editor and writer at
Reduced Pulp! When not writing, Sky is an active member of the JMU Honors College and the Media Manager of Stratford Players. She hopes to one day open her own theatre and/or be twitter famous. In her spare time, Sky can be found looking at pictures of pandas on the Internet or rewatching Parks and Recreation for the 8th time. You can find her sarcastic jokes and feminist rants on her Twitter: @hskywilson