User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 235 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 235

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  1. Sep 30, 2013
    10
    This album is so amazing, Lorde explored a new sound, different from other Indie artists, and the result is Pure Heroine, all the songs are catchy, I do not get tired of hearing.
  2. Nov 26, 2013
    10
    At just 16 years old, Lorde has all the credibility Lana Del Rey wished one day or spend. No need to dress with vintage image and scream desperate for his men in their tracks. Lorde slaps in the face of the music industry in ''Royals'' and sports in rhyming ''Tennis Court''. Definitely, Lorde is the future of music.
  3. Oct 11, 2013
    10
    There shouldn't have to be reviews written for this album. Ella Yelich O'Connor, better known as Lorde, cranks out 10 masterpieces that show no weakness and will please the ears of pop music listeners. Her appeal is wide-ranging and intriguing.

    The overall theme of the album is minimalist, and the catchy alt-pop and tremendous songwriting displayed on the record is indicative of the
    potential Joel Little and Lorde have working together. Lorde's lyrics are thoughtful, mature, pleasing, and clever. Little's production fits the themes of the songs very well, and though he isn't Stargate when it comes to the beats department, he isn't DJ Mustard either. His production is good across the board.

    Every track stands out in its own way, but if I had to pick a few to listen to:

    Royals
    Team
    Tennis Court
    Bravado
    Ribs

    Yeah, I would have to pick half the album.

    I've already talked about the songwriting, but Lorde's voice is gold. She cruises through songs smoothly while displaying an impressive lower range that's both comforting and haunting at the same time.

    100% a must buy. The fact that she's 16 is just the icing on one of the sweetest cakes of 2013.
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  4. Dec 21, 2013
    10
    Pure Heroine is a display of 10 beautifully written and performed tracks; it is an artistic showcase of pure talent that you would not expect from a 16 year old. It is almost like as if Lorde invented a new sound, which is a major stand-out from other mainstream artists. Stand-outs are Royals (undoubtedly) and Tennis Court. Massive congratulations to Lorde for her recent success.
  5. Oct 11, 2013
    10
    truly a tremendous album! every song is so well produced and catchy and the lyrics are amazing. no reason not to buy this absolute gem. all 10 songs are awesome.
  6. Oct 18, 2013
    10
    This album is so good it is scary. From her anti-prom queen and anti-mainstream agendas to the simple yet very effective production this album is a masterpiece. Just by listening to it I feel like I know her, I can picture her town the characters in her lyrics very easily. And last but not least her vocals and very catchy choruses. This album shall be on a loop for a very longtime.
  7. Dec 7, 2013
    10
    Really really good....Almost surpassed my expectations.My friend suggested this album to me and I am grateful to him for it. The song 'Royals' is the most catchy song of the whole album. The other songs are also very good. Hats off to Lorde!!!
  8. Dec 8, 2013
    10
    A really, really new sound on the global music industry, Lorde is bringing us a really new level to alternative music (it's not pretty beat-y). The minimalistic sound that the album had may be a great choice for relaxing your minds. Especially per tracks: 'Tennis Court' Pretty much pop and pretty much skater swag. '400 Lux' Unusual 'Royals' Only beats, bass, and Lorde 'Ribs' Sweet night techno-minimal.
    'Buzzcut Season' A perfect firefly pop.
    'Team' Kinda ironic, because the songs uses handclaps and the lyrics contain "anti-handclap'
    'Glory and Gore' Mini-rock.
    'Still Sane' Lana Del Rey
    'White Teeth Teens' Reminds me of Spain and Jake Bugg.
    'A World Alone' Next potential single.

    for the next chapter, it's pretty sweet if Lorde and Joel Little collaborate again.
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  9. Oct 1, 2013
    10
    This album is probably the best of the year. Lorde is in a genre of her own and I don't think that she can be compared to any other artist out there today.
  10. Oct 8, 2013
    10
    This album is so refreshing amongst all the other pop albums out today. Lorde adds so much depth to already unique beats through her lyrics. It is easy to listen to the album multiple times.
  11. Jan 11, 2014
    10
    I can't believe i didn't hear this album until today.

    Very smart lyrics. The minimalist music gives room for Lorde to showcase her singing, which is a pleasure to the ears. Not to mention that, in its own right, the music itself is pretty gorgeous.

    Of course, some tracks are forgettable. But the majority here is amazing tracks. This is easily one of the best albums released in 2013.
  12. Dec 29, 2013
    10
    Very limit number of instruments, yet. The albums is amazing! The vocals are great, all tracks are good as well. Definitely, Lorde is the future of music!
  13. Oct 27, 2013
    9
    I should put a little disclaimer here: this review is gonna be a bit positively biased, because as annoyed as I am by it basically becoming a selling point for her, she's 16. And considering both that I'm her age and that I'm an aspiring musician myself, I can't help but be particularly happy about her sudden success. And aside from that, her mainstream breakthrough single Royals is easily one of my favorite pop hits of 2013. It basically talks about being sick of the annoyingly recurring themes of excess & wealth that have plagued a lot of pop & hip hop music on the radio over the last decade or so. But one other thing I appreciate about it is how this sentiment is handled. This song could've easily been nothing but preachy & obnoxious pseudo-hipster drivel. But weaved within this bashing of music lacking substance & relatability is an admission that she'd love to be able to live that kind of lifestyle, but is just annoyed by these people feeling the need to brag about their possessions in the music they're selling to the masses. And now we have her debut album Pure Heroine, which could be one of my top albums of 2013 by year's end.

    Royals combines a lot of Pure Heroine's best traits. One interesting thing going on consistently musically is how sparse the production is. On a good majority of the album there's nothing in the instrumental mix but an electronic beat, an atmospheric synth & occasionally some self-backing vocals with great harmonies. I get how on paper for some people this might result in an album that's boring, monotonous & void of variety. Fortunately though, things are kept interesting by incredibly catchy melodies & various tempo changes from song to song. If anything this kind of minimalist approach helps to emphasize the album's main appeal, the vocals & lyrics. But again that's not to say there's nothing interesting in what's surrounding it. Ribs has a very creative structure, starting with an ambient minute-long intro before going into a back-and-forth switching between speeds Lorde sings some of the verses in, which helps bring out a mix of emotions in the lyrics being repeated. The thing to pull it all together is Lorde's great voice, which manages to gets the ideas being expressed across effectively without the need for obnoxious belting or showing off, which are common crimes in a lot of music where the voice is the main attraction. Not only that, but nothing here is forgettable, and there's never a filler moment in this concise, 10-track, 37-minute listen.

    Lyrically the main 2 themes being portrayed are biting social commentary & vivid thought processes in dealing with newfound fame. With the former, it's tackled from a few different angles. Aside from Royals & the similarly themed Team, there's tracks like Buzzcut Season and Glory And Gore, which talk about the mainstream news media's 2 opposite problems: covering pop culture & celebrity gossip instead of the real problems in the world, and exaggerating & exploiting these problems to the point where people watching either become paranoid pessimists or don't take these issues as seriously as they should. They're messages that contradict each other on the surface but make sense when you really think about it. On the more personal side of things you have tracks like Tennis Court, Still Sane & A World Alone, which detail Lorde coming to terms with her seemingly out-of-nowhere popularity. Now in most cases for me this would be questionable, since how can you talk about your big-time success on your debut album? But you have to think about the context; in New Zealand Royals was already #1 back in March, making her a very big deal in her home country by the time this album was being written. There's talk of getting on planes to tour, dealing with the pressures of scrutiny & criticism, and fearing that she'll end up just another trashy egotistical pop star. One other track worth specifically mentioning is White Teeth Teens, which details O'Connor's disinterest with being one of the perfect popular kids. Fortunately though, like “Royals”, it avoids the typical pitfalls of that kind of message. It doesn't portray these people as one-dimensional villains, but as just a different class she tried to & later gave up being a part of. And all of these themes get the messages across clear while never resorting to illiterate spoon-feeding.

    I can really say nothing negative about this album. It keeps a consistent & distinct sound while never letting tracks bleed together, the lyrics are sincere, on-point & relatable, and the best part is that her song is #1, which is just another sign, if not the defining one, of balance finally being restored on the pop charts in terms of quality. If you're into these traits & have an appreciation for great pop music with some electronic influences, listen to this ASAP.

    Top 5 tracks: Royals, Tennis Court, Still Sane, A World Alone, Ribs
    Score: 94/100
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  14. Oct 10, 2013
    9
    The very simple and minimalistic beats mix extremely well with her voice. Its good to see someone singing from the heart and not conforming to the mainstream. Good to see pop is headed in a good direction.
  15. Dec 21, 2013
    10
    Simply a precious masterpiece.
    Every song grips in it's uniqueness and does not let go for a long time.
    A triumph for a newly discovered talent.
    All my hopes for Lorde to keep the level.
  16. Dec 1, 2013
    9
    Lorde's debut album "Pure Heroine" serves much more delighting messages than having sex and doing drugs and partying all the time. The one most impressive (from countless positive messages) is being yourself and don't hope for much than you have it could turn against you, like her most successful song that grabbed most of the critics and people "Royals". "Royals" was called as racy, stupid, weird, dumb. NO. It is actually very unique in style and rich on content. Not all of Lord's songs are perfect but they are either rated as "Really Good" "Different (in a good way)" or all of the above plus "Perfect". Pure Heroine is rather the album of the year. Expand
  17. Oct 25, 2013
    9
    Very interesting, very likable, Lorde makes her mark with this album. Very mature and serious, these songs are nice to listen to if you want a relaxing time. These songs have a deeper meaning to them than most of what is released these days. In a world full of hits and misses, this album is definitely a hit.
  18. Oct 11, 2013
    10
    Easily the best album of the year, I found Lorde half a year ago when I listened to 'Royals' and got hooked instantly. Incredible artist, incredible music. A+
  19. Oct 11, 2013
    10
    I agree almost word for word with the pitchfork review, but I think they left out one important fact...it is absolutely impossible to stop listening to this album. My favorite albums of the last five years are "This is happening" and "It's Blitz." I don't think Lorde has quite yet achieved the sophistication of James Murphey's lyrics and production, but man, for pure addictive music, "Pure Heroine" is absolutely unmatched. Collapse
  20. Oct 2, 2013
    9
    Lorde is still very young, and so, yes, there are some oversights, but I am so incredibly impressed by the imagery and the mood she lays down so easily. Disturbed suburbia, too-good-to-be-true bland teenage years. What a specific thing, but it's such a triumph. Buzzcut Season is my favourite.
  21. Nov 9, 2013
    10
    Uno de los mejores albums que he escuchado este año, sin duda Lorde se lució, es un disco con 10 canciones que no aburren, lleno de magia pura que soprende con sus sonidos que cautivan y a la vez llenan.
  22. Nov 16, 2013
    9
    I love her so much and this is a fantastic album!! Some songs sound the same but it's ok!! I love the raspiness that she brings out in her voice. She has a bright future ahead of her
  23. Nov 13, 2013
    9
    Probably the best album of 2013. Lorde's sound can not be matched as she proves at 16 she is a true original. Download: Glory and Gore, Team, Tennis Court, 400 Lux.
  24. Nov 18, 2013
    10
    I seriously cannot believe that a teenage girl has such a mature and strong personality and attitude in front of the world. In a stream full of "performers", nonsense songs and viral videos that reach thousands of millions of views in few days, Lorde is not afraid to say that she doesn't want to belong to that world. And she really do mean it, that's the best part. Her songs contain such incredibly rough and realistic meanings, combined with minimal and precise music that makes everything smoothier and calmer. Her voice is so out of this world, as well as her variations. This is talent. This is an artist. This is Lorde: (hope to be) the next new true legend of music! Expand
  25. Mar 20, 2014
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. After hearing Royals, and with all the hype surrounding this release, I had to give it a listen. And I can proudly say it is now one of my favourite albums of all time. From the awe-inducing minimalist hip-hop production and her bold vocals to the catchy and captivating lyrics this album is full off and the fact that Lorde is still only a teenager really left me completely dumbstruck. The only thing I can say about this album is LISTEN TO IT! Expand
  26. Mar 29, 2014
    10
    Pure Heroine is the best record of the year, period. Each song, each rhythm, each lyric, an absolute masterpiece, and to think that Lorde is only 17 years old. Beyond the mainstream hits like Royals and Team, which are excellent songs by the way, the album contains subtler songs like A World Alone, which I think is the anthem for today's youth, and White Teeth Teens, which talks about today's adolescents. A must listen to anyone who loves Pop or Alternative music. Let's see what Lorde comes up with next, and I'll be waiting at the edge of my seat. Expand
  27. Dec 26, 2013
    10
    "Pure Heroine" has a skip-able has a song which is "Biting Down" in my opinion, overall this is one of the best records I've listen to this year since Phillip Phillips debut "The World from the Side of the Moon". Basically, the album features great songs such as "Tennis Court", "Ribs", "Team", "A World Alone", "Glory And Gore", and the quadruple-platinum hit "Royals". In my opinion, my highlights of this album is "Team", "Glory And Gore", "Ribs", "A World Alone" "Royals" and "The Love Club". I love her voice, I just love it, and I feel like her vocals are inspired by Nelly Furtado on some songs. I gave it a ten due to the Lyrical content. production and because of Lorde's direction. She is a very good person based on the songs she have wrote, I hope she doesn't turn out like Avril Lavigne whose career is dying due to her signing to a rapidly declining label. Expand
  28. Feb 28, 2014
    9
    I love this album. Lorde is definitely one of my favorite musicians. Her voice is very relaxing and distinct and her songwriting is very expressive, although it may take some time to realize what she is talking about in her songs.
  29. Feb 2, 2014
    10
    This album is definitely one of the best albums I've heard in a while.The reason why I like this album so much is because it is so different than any other album that has come out in a while.What amazes me is Lorde's age.Her vocals are great and the production on the album is definitely on point.I would highly suggest purchasing this album and give it a try.It's pretty d*mn good.
  30. Feb 28, 2014
    10
    Nada sobre fim de relacionamentos ou vida de um adolescente, em Pure Heroine, seu álbum de estréia, Lorde veio para falar sobre os adolescentes de dentes brancos e sobre o fato de nunca pertencer á realeza.

    No meio de tanta música ruim hoje em dia, Lorde se destaca com suas letras inteligentes e qualidade musical entre esses artistas teen de hoje, que só sabem falar sobre uma coisa em
    suas músicas: O quanto estão apaixonados. Com faixas incríveis que simplesmente te viciam, "Pure Heroine" é, de longe, um dos melhores (para não dizer O melhor) álbuns de 2013. Não é atoa que a neozelandesa Lorde conseguiu 2 grammys em um ano de carreira, vencendo de artistas como P!nk, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry e Bruno Mars. Mal posso esperar pelo seu novo disco e espero que tenha o dobro de qualidade que "Pure Heroine".

    Melhores do álbum: Tennis Court, Royals, Buzzcut Season, Team e Glory and Gore
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  31. Apr 6, 2014
    9
    This album is my first review on Metacritic. The composition of this album is clever and clear. Her voice cuts through the instrumentals and electronics. I thoroughly enjoyed this CD from start to finish. One of those albums to close your eyes and shut out the world or put in the car and roll the windows down. Most of these songs are very catchy and you will find yourself singing or humming one or two of them. There isn't a song on the album that I didn't enjoy.

    That being said it's not perfect. There are times where the bass punches a bit too much for my taste. Also, her voice may not appeal to all comers. She has a breathy and airy quality to her voice which has been heard before. Some lyrics flow better than others and at times if you listen carefully you can notice that they echo that she still is just a teenager.

    For a debut album this is a strong release. I look forward to hearing what comes next from Lorde. If you are on the fence based on what you've heard on the radio, she is definitely worth a listen the entire album through.
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  32. Apr 12, 2014
    9
    This album is very surprising at how excellent it is compared to other "Pop" artists today.

    When first hearing Royals, I thought that Lorde was another person who had one hit and slowly lost their popularity. But as more singles came out, I knew that she was different and unique. So I took a chance and bought this album. Boy, did I make a good decision.

    The theme of this album is
    actually about going AGAINST the pop machine and artists who are popular because of their looks. The songs in this album are addicting, some highlights are Ribs, White Teeth Teens, and The Love Club.

    If you like alternative music or anything like that, this album is a must for you. I am excited to see what Lorde puts out next.
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Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Feb 4, 2014
    90
    It’s the music here, not the sharp-toothed lyricism, which sets the record so far apart from the rest of the field.
  2. Nov 22, 2013
    80
    It isn't perfect but it adds up to an intimidatingly assured opening shot from a major new talent. [Dec 2013, p.108]
  3. Nov 1, 2013
    70
    Whilst Lorde’s world creates its own incredibly distinctive atmosphere, it feels accessible and open to maturing.