• Record Label: Republic
  • Release Date: Aug 20, 2021

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
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  1. 100
    This is an album that grows in quiet stature with every listen, new nuggets of wisdom making their way to the surface, peeking through its beautiful instrumentation that weaves a stunning, leafy tapestry. Few artists strike gold on every record they create but, for the third time in a row, Lorde has done it again, crafting yet another world-beater.
  2. Aug 25, 2021
    It's menacing, calming, earthy and completely otherworldly. And an appropriately unnerving conclusion to a project that, for all its bruises and emotional scarring, find a way to be flawless. And which confirms Lorde as continuing to inhabit a space-time continuum entirely of her own devising.
  3. Aug 19, 2021
    Deeply cohesive, conceptual and considered. Controlled while still being unexpected. Comforting within confines, placing a new level of distance and boundaries between her personal life and her fans as she focusses on feelings over stories.
  4. Aug 20, 2021
    Does the drastic gear shift work? It does, although there’s no avoiding that it may divide a previous fan base that looked at her widow’s peak and imagined they saw a dagger. ... But small things like this are quibbles in the face of how well Lorde has pulled off one of the more difficult stunts in pop music: making a happy album that’s a good album.
  5. Aug 23, 2021
    The album’s pace never really recaptures the Primal Scream vibes of the single. But the album is not much poorer for this equanimity, with its former teen star, elevated to instant mega-fame in the 2010s, pondering past lives, present happiness and future uncertainty with some deft writing, a gauzy feel and the odd Beatles melody.
  6. Aug 19, 2021
    There are plenty of lovely melodies, but it noticeably declines to deal in the primary currency of latterday pop, the banger, in favour of understatement. Bucking another current pop trend, it’s an album clearly designed to be listened to in full, rather than a collection of tracks from which to select additions to a playlist. It’s an approach that, at its worst, yields songs that sound undernourished – Fallen Fruit and Dominoes – but elsewhere it delivers, albeit gently.
  7. Aug 21, 2021
    The elegance of Solar Power is in its warmth, how you can put it on and not pay much attention to its details, and still catch yourself hitting replay.
  8. 75
    There's a subdued quality to Solar Power that feels a lot like caution, or just self-protection — a deliberate retreat from the raw, unfiltered verve of her earlier output into the safer remove of a wry bystander more at ease with cool observation than confessional bloodletting.
  9. Aug 26, 2021
    This might not be the album that everyone wanted from Lorde, but it’s a solid, dreamy effort that deserves exploration. There’s plenty here worthy of attention if you can focus for long enough.
  10. Aug 25, 2021
    Every song on “Solar Power” pulls from a similar and finely curated aesthetic — early 2000s “CW”-theme-song pop; sun-drenched ’70s folk; just a pinch of Kabbalah-era Madonna — and rarely draws outside those lines, let alone picks up differently hued crayons. ... “Solar Power” stops just short of offering a full, varied range of expressions.
  11. Aug 24, 2021
    For the most part, the record is a heady trip that prances around greatness but settles for pretty good.
  12. Aug 19, 2021
    “Mood Ring,” which is sonically a highlight and lyrically a miss, is one of the more obvious satires, tackling wellness culture through the lens of Sixties commune life. While a valiant attempt, what it misses is that one of the best parts of Lorde’s songwriting is her incredible earnestness. When that is let loose, like on the absolutely stellar “Oceanic Feeling” and Big Star-esque “Big Star,” she is an unstoppable pop force.
  13. Aug 19, 2021
    On the whole, the 12 songs here are quieter, more meditative, and more grown-up than Lorde’s past efforts. But while Solar Power doesn’t traffic in the booming emotional catharsis of Melodrama, it doesn’t succumb to navel-gazing solipsism either.
  14. Aug 19, 2021
    [A] curiously low-key album ... These are weird, spare, twisty-turny psych-folk tunes, many of them without the propulsive beats that used to drive Lorde’s music; most of the time, she’s simply layering her fluttering, slightly raspy vocals over Antonoff’s noodly electric guitar in a way that recalls Nico’s 1967 cult classic “Chelsea Girl,” of all things.
  15. Aug 20, 2021
    Solar Power sounds more interesting when it bottles the jasmine air of Laurel Canyon folk, less interesting when it emulates that sound’s descendants in early-2000s soft rock (Sheryl Crow, Jewel) without any of the hooks or energy of radio pop.
  16. Aug 25, 2021
    Where each song on Melodrama felt like rushing into the next room at a wild house party to discover a new scandal or hookup, each successive song on Solar Power feels like returning to the same yoga class day after day; there might be the odd new mantra or position, but there’s nothing truly revelatory.
  17. Aug 26, 2021
    If you're riding and vibing with Lorde, this bright shapelessness is superb mood music. If you're not riding her wave, Solar Power can seem elusive, even cloying, as it circles and sways with a smile.
  18. Aug 24, 2021
    Unfortunately, Solar Power just isn’t palpable for anyone beyond Lorde’s existing fanbase or background noise for a mellow summer picnic.
  19. Aug 19, 2021
    It’s soft, woozy, melodically loose. Further investigation reveals that this approach seems to have spread to every aspect of Lorde's songwriting. Where Melodrama was razor-sharp in the universally relatable picture it painted of late adolescence, Solar Power drifts to a place altogether more impressionistic.
  20. Aug 19, 2021
    It sounds utterly gorgeous, and perhaps this laid-back, stripped-down folksy bent is part of a generational pop shift, echoing the intimate minimalism of Billie Eilish – but I have my doubts. ... Lorde’s lyrics are still acute, her singing superb, her songs beguiling, but her perspective has shifted from every-girl outsider to over-privileged solipsist. Solar Power is underpowered and unlikely to set the world on fire.
  21. Aug 20, 2021
    Solar Power is pleasant background music, an album you might default to beside the pool, but it ultimately lacks the cinematic grandeur that made tracks like “Green Light” or “Ribs” so deeply moving.
  22. Aug 30, 2021
    All these connections Lorde is trying to make: her strange pastiche imagination of the ’70s, that random spoken word interlude by Robyn about climate change, and the themes of “sun healing,” never fully reach each other. Often, they come off as disingenuous and out of touch more than they read as brilliant, or comical. Whether the album is one big prank, or just one majorly failed experiment, the gist of having the “privilege to ignore” is lost in translation. All you are left with is just a handful of pretty alright songs.
  23. Aug 25, 2021
    Solar Power’s a little messy and rough around the edges, and features a Lorde now moving on from her youth and wanting to keep some things to herself. In short: It’s just like being 24.
  24. Aug 20, 2021
    The truth is that there are things to like here – namely some new percussive elements and O’Connor’s ever-rich voice – but Solar Power comes across as painfully flat compared to her first two records.
  25. Aug 19, 2021
    Lorde’s least vital project by several leagues. There’s just very little magic here. The album lilts and meanders across 12 tracks, wholly avoiding the incendiary electronic percussion of past releases. ... Fewer drum machines would be fine if the tunes were particularly engaging, but the album’s general sense of self-satisfaction all but screams no pressure, friends, check this out when you get around to it. The lax style is no accident, of course. Lorde is a deft songwriter.
  26. 40
    Songs like “Solar Power” redeem the album’s sluggishness, with a fun attitude over an upbeat track which would feel like the carefree joyous song on the album, if the rest of it wasn’t so up in the clouds. ... All the genius on Melodrama seems to have stayed there, leaving Solar Power high and dry without any flavour or journey to embark on.
  27. 40
    Solar Power finds Lorde swapping her trademark directness for tuneless detachment.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 1363 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Aug 20, 2021
    another great album from lorde! I feel this album will divide the audience if you were expecting melodrama 2.0 this is probably not the albumanother great album from lorde! I feel this album will divide the audience if you were expecting melodrama 2.0 this is probably not the album for you, if you don't like Mello /acoustic songs this album is not for you. What this album is like other albums a snapshot of her life in the last 4 years the lyrics and the production reflects that. She has definitely made an album for herself.She is a true artist and has made it very clear she is not chasing sales, streams and chart, radio success. She is making music that feels true to her. Much respect. Full Review »
  2. Aug 20, 2021
    Lorde's third album is a work thematically focused on reflections, I expected something more fun (I missed a more lively beach and sunLorde's third album is a work thematically focused on reflections, I expected something more fun (I missed a more lively beach and sun atmosphere in the tracks). There's a departure mainstream sonic aesthetic from the other two albums.The songs have a more folk and indie style, stepping a bit into the vibe of the latest works by Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift. In short, despite the good intentions, Lorde creates a tiring journey with the album ‘Solar Power’ with highly monotonous songs. Full Review »
  3. Aug 20, 2021
    Poorly constructed project, album too shallow and lacking cohesion, too weak commercially, totally forgettable.