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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Pure Heroine is the debut album by New Zealand pop star Lorde (born Ella Yelich-O'Connor), a teen sensation whose single "Royals" shot up the charts. The lyrical matter on Pure Heroine centers on Lorde's rejection of fame and luxury as well as on adolescence; subjects include social anxieties and resentments, cliques, Internet gossip, boredom, and friendships -- themes many teens can relate to. There are several instances of strong language, including "f--k" and "s--t," as well as mild references to drinking and partying and a few lyrics alluding to scrappy teen violence (for instance, the song "Glory and Gore" includes lyrics like "took a shiner from the fist of your best friend" and "now we're in the ring, and we're coming for blood"). But none of the edgier lyrical content is heavy-handed, and parents could use these songs to spark conversation about some of the challenges teens face in today's world as well as explore ways music and art can serve as a cathartic release.
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What's the story?
PURE HEROINE is the full-length debut by 16-year-old rising New Zealand pop star Lorde. "Royals," the first single from the record, quickly rose to the top of the charts and was a solid introduction to themes Lorde continues to explore throughout the record: criticisms of fame and wary rejections of glamor and wealth. But Pure Heroine isn't just a dismissal of the posh life. Lorde also sings frankly about the anxieties of adolescence and all the social challenges, worries, and fleeting carefree days that define those formative years. Ultimately, Pure Heroine is a collection of songs that sees Lorde bidding farewell to a personal past while facing down the prospects of a reluctant fame-filled future.
Is it any good?
The debut record of teen sensation Lorde is making commercial and critical waves across the globe. The smart and cynical lyrical matter Lorde displays on this album belies her age, and her impressive musical vision makes for a seamless, captivating listen from start to finish. It's rare to see such raw musical talent and wisdom in emerging teen pop stars, and with Pure Heroine Lorde has secured her immediate fate as a rising talent and one to be watched. Whether or not she'll reject the fame and attention that she's set to receive is yet to be seen.
Talk to your kids about ...
Try deconstructing some of the social situations Lorde writes about, like cliques and teen idealism. What can you relate to? How have you used art or creation in your life to diffuse a situation or make sense of the world around you?
Lorde has said that Pure Heroine was made as a cohesive body of work. How does this inform your listening of the album in its entirety? What are some of the ways she makes the music and story flow together?
For kids who love contemporary pop music
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.