Herald on Sunday
The critics on Lorde’s new song
LIt boasts a breezy, psychedelic quality perfectly paired for summer drives and beach trips.
orde’s first release in four years — Solar Power — was met with much fanfare. Since the song was released on Friday, the music video has reached more than 3.8 million views. So what did the critics think? Fellow New Zealander and Apple Music radio DJ Zane Lowe labelled the sunshine-inspired track “the sound of a New Zealand summer”.
The New York Times’ Jon Pareles called the song “about the last thing to be expected from a songwriter as moody and intense as Lorde” and added it was a “carefree ditty”.
Music review outlet Pitchfork called it a “soft-touch anthem for the season’s simple pleasures”.
Slant magazine said the song “lacks the urgency of her best songs. It boasts a breezy, psychedelic quality that’s perfectly paired for summer drives and beach trips, and an optimistic outlook”.
But the website Jezebel was decidedly more harsh, calling Solar Power “shockingly basic, from the tepid acoustic production to the canned enlightened lyrics”.
Jason Lipshutz, for Billboard, reflected on how Lorde has bloomed into her new era. “The Lorde we’re acquainting ourselves with this time around has found peace in the natural world. Like all great pop songs, Solar Power is deceptively simple: After a few listens, you notice the saxophone and trumpet snuck into the mix, as well as the barely audible ad-lib ‘So sorry, I can’t make it,’ after Lorde shrugs, ‘I tend to cancel all the plans’.”
NME’s Rhian Daly gave the track a five-star review, calling the song “a quietly but supremely confident return”.
On social media, listeners weighed in with harsher reviews than major critics.
“I don’t think Solar Power is bad or anything but it is kind of underwhelming,” a fan wrote, but noted it could just be the initial taste of the album’s vibe.
Fans also compared the music video to two major movies — horror flick Midsommar and musical romcom Mamma Mia.