6/10 Clinton Staff review, 25 October 2013
My usual thursday night listen to the horrors on show on Roundtable ended with the panel discussing this young lass from New Zealand. Signed when thirteen years of age, now sixteen, she finally gets round to finishing her debut album whilst presumably completing New Zealand’s equivalent to her GCSEs for when/if it all goes wrong on the music front.
Such a failure is unlikely however, her voice is X Factor-bland, a slightly American-ised husky throaty roar, one part Florence Welch, one part Rihanna, she pronounced the word ‘court’ as if she has been brought up in the Bronx. Opener ‘Tennis Court’ has a swing to it, its production is minimal, sorta xx-influenced but edging towards the clever stateside r’n’b which the album often emulates albeit with the edges softened for a straighter, whiter audience. Although the choruses are catchy and she has a delivery wordier and cleverer than the chart pap, the record is often horribly safe.
Probably marketed towards being this year’s Lana Del Rey, it is a few steps up and away from the horrors of the X Factor warblers but plays it far too safe to risk becoming the kind of crossover artist who appeals to the ITV fixated as well as the Pitchfork-obsessed. There are some catchy enough tunes, ‘Ribs’ has some lovely haunting synths and neat production which erupts into a catchy kind of half-rap and the fact that previous single ‘Royals’ went multi-platinum shows she has genuine mass appeal. Pop it in your shopping basket next time you are in Tesco.
5/10 Anti Podean Customer review, 16th November 2013
Dear Clinton,On behalf of my country, I apologise for Lorde. As you might imagine, 'Royals' is played on an endless loop on commercial radio in New Zealand, it is indeed enough to drive a man to hard drugs. She is predictably already something of a national hero down here (we presume she honed her Bronx dialect at Takapuna Grammar School - for her GCSEs even - that is School Certificate to us), but to be fair to her, anything that distracts this nation momentarily from its rugby/All Blacks fixation can't be all bad.
In compensation for our world-wide number one teenage pop sensation, I offer you Black City Lights; they are from Wellington, our capital city. They may be cut from the same template - bespectacled boffin on electronic backing, precocious young lass on vocal duties - but Black City Light's tinkling possesses a certain menace and yearning; it's worth a listen, the antidote to Lorde and her safe place... alright, it's not the Gordons, but this is surely antipodean pop music worth putting up with:
(apparently a digital release only as yet)
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