Lorde Gets Personal with Liability

After the successful release of “Green Light,” New Zealand singer Lorde returns with “Liability.” The single, released on March 10, 2017, is a part of Lorde’s upcoming album, Melodrama, which is expected to put the 20 one year old as one of the top selling female artists of 2017. The album is has a release date of June 16, 2017

“Liability” will likely be a new experience for her biggest supporters, hearing a sound they wouldn’t expect to hear from Lorde. Well, the song is also something new for Lorde. Using just a piano and her voice, Lorde strips everything down to a minimalistic arrangement to show a side no one else has seen (or heard) before. It’s the one time we get close to Lorde’s personal side, so might as well take the opportunity by sitting or lying with earphones in and let Lorde take us away.

After a subtle voice that counts in with “one, two,” the piano comes right in to set the mood, striking tender chords that complement a lazy, rainy afternoon (and it’s fitting too because I’m sitting right by the window and it’s pouring outside as I write this sentence). There’s also fret noises heard in the intro and throughout the song, which means there’s also a guitar that’s helping drive the song alone, but it’s so quiet that it doesn’t get in the way and interfere with Lorde’s spotlight.

Lorde’s vocals enter right after with the right voice to keep the moment serene. She already exposes much of her personal life in the first verse alone: Firstly, she briefly mentions the inspiration behind “Liability,” and then sings about how her only strong relationship with other people is herself.

The chorus has a strong vocal melody complemented by the soft high piano to convey the main message of the song. This is where Lorde lets everyone know that she agrees she’s a liability. The way she sings the last part of the chorus is her bid to get listeners hooked on, making sure the message sticks with them.

She continues to remain honest with her listeners in the second verse, admitting that she’ll eventually bore them like a toy. She’ll continue to offer some form of entertainment value until it’s all consumed. I also like how the instrumental subtly gets a little more exciting as Lorde sings “I know that it’s exciting running through the night, but every perfect summer’s eating me alive until you’re gone.” When Lorde reaches the end of the line, she accents the word “gone” and the excitement suddenly ends, returning back to the song’s usual piano-vocal arrangement.

After the chorus is sung a second time, she ends with a vivid image of herself “disappearing into the sun.” In other words, it’s like she’s the main protagonist in a movie who accomplishes a big heroic deed.

The movie ends with her walking into the sunset. The song ends tenderly with that very image, leaving listeners with all sorts of strong emotions as the song swiftly quiets out.

This song certainly isn’t meant to dazzle listeners with upbeat rhythms and electrifying synths. She puts them all away to get close with us, express her feelings, and allowing us to get to know her better as a person. Overall, “Liability” gives everyone more reasons to get excited over her upcoming album, Melodrama. This is truly a kind of release that will give Lorde the upper hand over other artists as she furthers her musical career.

Author’s Note: Some of the details behind the lyrics that I have written are based on the lyric annotations posted on Genius.com. You may follow the link and learn more details behind the song if this enchanting single is greatly driving your curiosity.

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