Pure Heroine is the debut studio album by Lorde. Released on September 27, 2013, the album received critical acclaim for its production values, lyrical content that deviated from most modern pop acts, and thoughtful blend of musical styles, all while still keeping mainstream appeal. Pure Heroine was a Sleeper Hit. While it never topped the Billboard 200 (peaking at #3), it stayed in the Top 10 for a long time and went 2x Platinum (an extremely rare feat for any artist nowadays, let alone for an artist's debut album). This was partially due to the success of her mega hit "Royals", but also the fact that Album Filler was averted, with each song being unique and artistic, allowing the music to speak for itself. The fact that her songs are constantly featured in commercial advertisements and video games certainly doesn't hurt sales, either. Since then, Pure Heroine has sold over three million albums worldwide. Additionally, Lorde has won nearly thirty awards, including the Grammy award for "Song of the Year" with "Royals".
Not bad for a teenage girl from New Zealand.
- "Tennis Court" (3:18)
- "400 Lux" (3:54)
- "Royals" (3:10)
- "Ribs" (4:18)
- "Buzzcut Season" (4:06)
- "Team" (3:13)
- "Glory and Gore" (3:30)
- "Still Sane" (3:08)
- "White Teeth Teens" (3:36)
- "A World Alone" (4:54)
- "No Better" (2:50)
- "Bravado" (3:41)
- "Million Dollar Bills" (2:18)
- "The Love Club" (3:21)
- "Biting Down" (3:33)
- "Swingin' Party" (3:42)
The Extended Version adds all the songs from The Love Club. Please visit that page for trope pertaining to those songs.
And we'll never be tro-o-opes (tro-o-opes!):
- Album Filler: Averted, which was one of the reasons why Pure Heroine appealed to so many people.
- Alliterative Title: "Glory and Gore" and "Still Sane".
- Bookends: The first and last lines of the album serve as a question and answer.
- Tennis Court: Don't you think that it's boring how people talk?
- A World Alone: Let 'em talk.
- Boring Insult: "Team" is a textbook example - "I'm kinda over being told to throw my hands up in the air, so there" - but "Tennis Court" seems to portray Lorde herself as part of the problem.It's a new art form/showing people how little we care
- Chekhov's Gun: "Royals", the biggest song on the album by far, actually made its initial debut as a non-single on an obscure EP titled The Love Club, which was released six months before Pure Heroine.
- Concept Album: Pure Heroine deals with the struggles of being a teenager, and living in the world as a whole.
- Cover Version: "Swingin' Party", originally a B-Side to "Tennis Court" and included on the extended edition, was a rather obscure song by Garage Rock band The Replacements.
- Crapsack World: The album portrays our world as one through its lyrics. For example, "Royals" is about the poor with no chance of success while the rich demonstrate self-indulgence, "Ribs" covers the theme that Growing Up Sucks, "Buzzcut Season" (once you make sense of the lyrics) is about the general public who ignore real problems such as war in favor of living in their own personal fantasies, and "Glory and Gore" tackles our obsession with violence and celebrity culture. Needless to say, this is not the type of album that most teen singers would make, which leads us to the below.
- Darker and Edgier/Deconstruction: Of teen pop in general. While most teen singers target the teenie-bopper crowd with upbeat songs about parties and happy relationships, Lorde aims for universal appeal in a different direction by focusing on the very real, depressing aspects of being a teenager and living in the world as a whole.
- Deadpan Snarker: "Glory and Gore" is a satire of our modern-day obsession with celebrity culture, naturally she gives this impression in the lyrics.
- Double Entendre: The title is a non-sexual example. While a name like Pure Heroine implies a very deep meaning in line with the songs the album contains, it's also very likely a pun on drugs ("pure heroin").
- G.I.F.T.: Referenced as possibly bleeding into the outside world - "maybe the internet raised us, or maybe people are jerks".
- Glam Rap: Lorde doesn't rap on the album, but "Royals" is often read as a criticism of the genre. The Grammy awards made it even more dramatic by having her play shortly after Jay-Z and Beyoncé's duet "Drunk In Love", which also included some "wasted wealth" tropes usually associated with rock.
- Growing Up Sucks: The point of "Ribs".This dream isn't feeling sweetWe're reeling through the midnight streetsAnd I've never felt more aloneIt feels so scary getting old
- Intentionally Awkward Title: The 'e' is silent, and is a pun on "pure heroin". Doesn't stop people from mispronouncing it as "here-roh-in", however.
- Kid Hero/Improbable Age: Lorde herself, being only 16 when the album was made.
- Lyrical Cold Open: "Royals", "Team", and "Tennis Court".
- Minimalistic Cover Art: Nothing but the names of the artist and album, likely done to let the music speak for itself.
- Money Song: "Royals" is a Take That! towards this trope, essentially an answer to all the bragging and self-indulgence of the wealthy that people have become accustomed to.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: The album contains elements of Dream Pop, Electronica, Synthpop, Minimalism, Ambient, Indie Pop, Art Pop, Dark Wave, Contemporary, and even a few traces of Hip-Hop can be found in the beats. All of this combines together to form a kind of music that's both Pop and Alternative simultaneously, giving it equal appeal to both audiences.
- Non-Appearing Title: "400 Lux" and the album title itself.
- One-Word Title: "Royals", "Ribs" and "Team".
- Precision F-Strike: "Tennis Court" features the lyrics: "How can I fuck with the fun again?", which came as quite a shock to Moral Guardians considering she was only 16 at the time.
- "Still Sane" features a few instances of the word "shit".
- Pun-Based Title: "Heroine" for "heroin".
- Shout-Out: "Team" is this to her homeland, New Zealand.
- Silly Love Songs: The finale, "A World Alone", is the most straightforward pop song on the album - at once a love song and an ode to dancing! - but even it has time to get to insecurity, gossip, self-destructive tendencies, false friends and mortality while showing people how little you care is shown as a coping mechanism - "let 'em talk" indeed.
- The Stoic: Comes off as being cold and distant in each song.
- The Workaholic: The meaning of "Still Sane". Covering the fact that she has to work all day with no free time, traveling all over the world to perform in concerts and events due to her new-found fame despite only being a teenager.All work and no playNever made me lose itAll business all dayKeeps me up a levelAll work and no playKeeps me on the new shit, yeah
- Updated Re-release: An extended version was released in December 2013, which features a new song ("No Better"), all the songs from The Love Club EP ("Bravado", "Million Dollar Bills", "The Love Club", and "Biting Down"), as well as the B-side to "Tennis Court" ("Swingin' Party").
- Word Salad Lyrics: Mostly averted with all the songs, minus one exception: "Buzzcut Season". The name of song is also, fittingly enough, a Word Salad Title.
Let 'em talk