New Zealand songstress Lorde's new album, Pure Heroine, hit the Web Monday (September 23) as a special pre-release stream via her MTV Artist Page, and fans and critics are already stepping up to crown the 16-year-old singer the queen of nouveau pop.
"For so long, pop music has been this super-shameful thing, where people don't want to be associated with it, they want to be on Pitchfork," Lorde (a.k.a. Ella Yelich-O'Connor) told MTV News this past August. "But the way I see it, pop music doesn't have to be stupid, and alternative music doesn't have to be boring; you can mesh the two together and make something cool."
That's exactly what Lorde has done with her debut album, replete with insanely catchy jams like "Tennis Court," "Team" and "Royals," the track that saw Lorde become the first woman to top Billboard's Alternative Songs Chart in 17 years.
"She's a freshly fired antique," The Guardian said of the singer, speaking of her modern-tinged timelessness.
Meanwhile, Idolator gave Lorde props for living up to the hype: "Pure Heroine is one of the albums of the year from an artist who proved an unexpected breakout star, but earned it."
Some outlets pointed to specific tracks when doling out the praise. Consequence of Sound called "Tennis Court" and "Team" "standout tracks," while Billboard editorial director Bill Werde said, "This song 'Team' will hit. Remember I told you."
The fans were, on the whole, overcome with excitement about the new record. Twitter user @taylorhasabody, for one, said, "Pure Heroine literally breathed new life into me."
@lordemusic Pure Heroine literally breathed new life into me.— Taylor Stewart (@taylorhasabody) September 23, 2013
Buzz has been growing about Lorde, who was discovered at a talent show at age 12, since she dropped The Love Club online for free at the end of 2012. Since then, everyone from Selena Gomez to Jared Leto has expressed admiration for the musician as the world waited for her first full-length to drop. The official release date for Pure Heroine is September 30.
What do you think of Lorde's debut LP?