Lorde – Melodrama
Lorde’s sophomore album, Melodrama, is one of the best I’ve listened to in a long time. It’s a loose concept album about love, losing love, being heartbroken, being lonely, and moving on. Her ideas are expressed incredibly well through tracks that will make you want to move and dance, but is also completely devoid of any kitschy party anthems. It’s an incredible pop-but-not-quite-pop album, many of whose songs defy pop conventions. The subject matter of the album’s most prominent ballad, Liability, for example, is not just about a lost love. Instead, Lorde bemoans her painful loneliness and the fact that the people in her life are no longer interested in spending time with her.
When I first heard the album’s lead single, Greenlight, I instantly fell in love. I didn’t listen to the whole album at the time, but that song was on every playlist I made after its release in 2017. I was inspired to check out the album when I saw that it had been high on the top albums lists of many prestigious publications (Rolling Stone and Pitchfork, for example) and, in my opinion, Melodrama deserves all of the praise. I would recommend this album to pretty well anyone. Give it a try!
Key tracks: Greenlight, The Louvre, Liability, Hard Feelings, Supercut.
Style Savvy: Styling Star
I may revisit Style Savvy: Styling Star in a later review post once I have completed the main story, but I wanted to spend some time talking about it now because I’ve been playing it quite a bit over the past two weeks. For me, there’s no doubt that Styling Star is the second best game in the Style Savvy series. I don’t think that I could ever love a fashion game as much as I love Trendsetters, but Styling Star comes close.
I was not a fan of the changes that syn sophia made to the third game in the series, Fashion Forward, many of which incorporated elements of Nintendo’s popular Animal Crossing franchise. I have never been able to get into an Animal Crossing game, despite several attempts. As a person who typically works a full-time day job, I tend to dislike games that have real time clocks. Due to the restrictions of my work schedule, I often play games at the same time every day, which means that there are many events and features in those games that are easy for me to miss. Of course, I can always mess with my 3DS system clock, but in my opinion, forcing users to modify their systems to see what your game has to offer is poor design.
Styling Star retains a lot of the better additions to Fashion Forward (you can work in the hair salon, do makeup and design your own clothes) while returning to the addictive day/night cycle format of Trendsetters. For me, this format makes it tough to put the game down — I’m always wanting to get to the next day to see what my accomplishments from the previous day will unlock. They have also added a lot of new outfits and clothing items to the game, which I am very happy about, since I felt like the additions to the previous game were minimal at best.
Overall, I’m excited to keep playing Styling Star. The main story seems like it’s going to be an interesting departure from previous games in the series, and I think that my character will have a significantly different role to play in how that unfolds. Stay tuned for more on this game from me.