It's been years since we couldn't escape 'Royals' on the radio, and two years since Lorde has released a new song. She's finally returned, and it's a new chapter in her musical journey. Lorde is back and poppier than ever in 'Green Light,' her newest single.
In many ways, 'Green Light' is a brand new sound for Lorde. Nothing she's released has been so direct in her lyrics and uplifting in her instrumentals. The track starts off fairly darkly, but quickly transitions into a much more upbeat sound let by punchy pianos that are followed by a big pop beat and swallowing synths. The lyrics chant "Cause honey I'll come get my things, but I can't let go / I'm waiting for it, that green light, I want it" in the choruses, loud and cheerfully as if she's chasing something.
The imagery of a "green light" is important. For one, it's an allusion to F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, the "green light" in the story referring to the protagonist's hope for his love interest (Gatsby's hope for Daisy). This is a song about heartbreak - or, more specifically, Lorde's first major heartbreak. The hope she has can come in a lot of flavors. There's hope of moving on in the chorus, where she somberly admits "I wish I could get my things and just let go," but there's also moments of a brand new future when she sings "But I hear sounds in my mind, brand new sounds in my mind," like there's a blank book in front of her that she has the power to fill in. The music video embodies this too, with Lorde dancing around being freed from a sort of anchor she was being weighed down by. With the weight gone, she can tread on into a fresh new world.
While 'Green Light' may seem like a huge change for Lorde, it still keeps her original unique sound at its core. Lorde was known for her somewhat edgy, darkish pop sound. It was moody and empowering. Just because this song is about fragility doesn't mean it's any less empowering, though. In both its allusion and its lyrics, it simply states that even when things may seem at an end, there's always promise for the future. There's some signature Lorde lyrics in this song that display some of her edge, namely the lines "Those great whites, they have big teeth / Oh, they bite you / Thought you said that you would always be in love / But you're not in love no more." They simple but vivid metaphor is what Lorde is fantastic at delivering, and atop the more refined instrumental it's delivered over, it's like you're listening to Pure Heroine for the first time again, with a new poppy side to it.
It's been a long time since we've heard from Lorde, but now that she's back, she's ready to take the world over again. 'Green Light' is a huge return for her and not only displays a growth in her sound, but also that she has grown as an individual and has a bunch of new experiences to share. 'Green Light' will be released on her sophomore album Melodrama, due out later this year. We'll have a review ready for you when it's out.
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Rating: 86 / 100
Buy or listen to 'Green Light' here: