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Solar Power is the third studio album by New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde. It was released on 20 August 2021, by Universal Music. Lorde wrote and produced the album with American musician Jack Antonoff, whom she worked with on her second studio album, Melodrama (2017), as well. She opted against CDs for environmental reasons, releasing Solar Power to digital music platforms, streaming services, and as vinyl LPs only.

The album was preceded by Going South, a June 2021 memoir documenting Lorde’s 2019 visit to Antarctica, which she dubbed as the precursor to the album. She stated the title Solar Power was inspired by the trip, and that she “felt like [she] could just chill out and flex a little bit” while creating the record. Three singles were released before the album: the lead single and title track, “Solar Power”, was released on a solar eclipse and entered the charts in various countries, reaching number two on the New Zealand Singles Chart. It was followed by “Stoned at the Nail Salon” and “Mood Ring”, leading up to the album’s release.

Classified by Lorde as her “weed album”, Solar Power is an indie folk and psychedelic effort, driven by acoustic guitar arrangements. Its lyrics revolve around solipsism and summer escapism, mainly focusing on Lorde’s leisure time in her homeland New Zealand, simultaneously expressing her disdain for fame and celebrity culture. The album polarized music critics, who were mostly favourable towards Lorde’s matured vocals, but divided over its songwriting; some reviews praised the laid back music and perceptive themes, while the rest dubbed its sound unfinished and lyrics dispassionate. To promote the album, Lorde is scheduled to embark on her third concert tour, titled Solar Power Tour, starting in February 2022. It will cover Oceania, North America, and Europe.

Tracklist:

01.The Path
02.Solar Power
03.California
04.Stoned at the Nail Salon
05.Fallen Fruit
06.Secrets from a Girl (Who’s Seen It All)
07.The Man with the Axe
08.Dominoes
09.Big Star
10.Leader of a New Regime
11.Mood Ring
12.Oceanic Feeling
13.Helen of Troy
14.Hold No Grudge

OVERALL RATING: 4 stars