The Love Club EP
Any article that tells you anything about Lorde – and really what is there to know, ultimately? – feels like hype transliterated. She’s 16 don’t you know? Well, actually, we do know because everyone tells us. She made this music in her bedroom at home – alone, went the original lie. Then it was about how she was signed to a development deal at Universal at age 14, 13, 12, 11…the real truth is her parents were married at Universal Music’s headquarters located in the burning fires of hell somewhere and all the expenses were paid for them, Neil Finn played at the ceremony at half his usual fee. All they had to do was give up their daughter. And they did.
And they have.
Now it’s personal. It’s about a 16 year old girl. It’s not about the music. And it’s never been about music. Her songs are itching to appear on American TV shows and movies. Think big and all that – but this is about anything other than a high school girl doing her best, being talented. This is a scam. We’re all being played. The way we get played any time pop music actually sticks for a bit. Or when we’re told via Tweets what we must next consume.
Except I don’t get the buzz around this EP at all – sorta extraordinary to think that Lorde has gone on to appear on Billboard covers and play Jools Holland and whatever else. Hey, good on her, if that’s what she wants – and I’m sure she doesn’t even know what she wants – that’s all fine if fame is what you are after.
But that fruit tree will die.
And if it went tomorrow would we care about these songs?
Bravado is just this year’s Florence & The Machine. Remember what happened there when the smoke and mirrors stayed still for too long? There might even be a hint of Lana del Rey about it – and if that’s not the cruellest thing you can say about anything wanting to be music then I don’t know what is.
I get that Royals has something of a hook – a memorable chorus I guess. But is it really all that memorable? And by what standard? It’s still an empty-gesture song to me. Even if it’s the best thing here.
Million Dollar Bills is certainly nothing. The title song doesn’t mean anything at all either – it could be anything. But what it’s missing, like all of Lorde’s music to date, is anything to make you listen to it on its own merit, away from the talent-contest suggestion, the media hype, the sad, misplaced jingoism of it. She’s not making music for New Zealand by the way! (That in itself isn’t actually a bad thing, but it’s why a lot of the coattail riders are hanging on). And then it’ll come back to She’s sixteen man! And wait and see what she goes on to do! And at least she’s doing something?! What are you doing?!
What I’m doing is never listening to this again – because I don’t see or hear anything special in it at all. The closing remix of Bravado would have almost suggested that ideas were at an early stand-still but then the Tennis Court song arrived – post-EP – and there was a video to help it. And then there was all this near-cowardice about how she was classy and totally stood for anything that Miley Cyrus wasn’t and so on.
Actually all Tennis Court is – really – is another here-today/gone-tomorrow song. And this 16 year old is still being sexualised in the selling of her music – it’s just to dudes that wank over Farmers lingerie catalogues rather than being honest and hiring porn.
I don’t get the buzz behind this – and worse than that I smell something fishy. I mean, it’s all out in the open now that there were producers and songwriters and studios behind all of this, it ain’t no bedsit pop. But there’s something else – some other part of the story yet to come. Some final twist in the manipulation.
Not sure I’m even interested in trying to unearth the rest of this scam. It’s far more rewarding trying to find music that might last, music that isn’t this.
But we’ve already got people pulling out that sad old chestnut about it being good for New Zealand and to get off her case – she’s doing something, she’s trying! and all that sad old shit.
This is just an average wee EP – and because she has long hair and a flavour of the month pop song and a carefully manicured faux-mystique people want to see and hear more than they are actually seeing and hearing.
She’ll be big for a year – on the back of a year of bubbling-under. And then done. Gone.
Holy shit – the real horror is yet to come anyway. For soon she’ll be seventeen! Game over. What will people write about then? Anything but the music of course. So the articles will all start by announcing she first made waves when she was 16…no, 15, no 14…13…12…
She might as well be Miley Cyrus.
There really isn’t all that much that’s different.