Singer Lorde acts her age on ‘Melodrama’ – Jay Z to release album

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LOS ANGELES, June 19, (Agencies): The most hilarious conspiracy theory of the 21st century so far might be the “Lorde truther” movement — those folks who were convinced the upstart singer was a full-fledged adult, not a mere prodigy of 16, when she recorded her 2013 breakout, “Pure Heroine”. In this case, at least, the production of a birth certificate finally quelled the rumors. But the belief spoke to just how effective she was in assuming the role of old soul: If the tag “world’s oldest teenager” was coined for Dick Clark, it really belonged to this platinum, preternaturally world-weary sensation.

But she was so much older then; she’s younger than that now. She spent a lot of that debut album on the outside of young life looking in, adopting a slightly scolding persona she recently wryly referred to as “library girl”. For this four-years-later follow-up, it’s not as if she just chucked all that maturity, but she’s at least wandering in and out of the party, and alternating between fretful and frisky, just like any good 20-year-old should. “Melodrama” is still a predominantly serious record, as the title winkingly suggests, but its lighter moments are also seriously fun — and the whole thing is so good that it makes that precocious first album seem like child’s play.

Lorde and her new producer/co-writer, Jack Antonoff, have structured “Melodrama” as sort of extended internal debate on whether she should mourn the loss of her first love, and all the idealism that went with that, or move on and embrace the pleasures of singleness and serial dating. Depending on when you tune in to the dialogue, it’s either a deeply sad breakup album or unrepentantly playful post-breakup record. It’s all wrapped up in the overture, “Green Light”, in which Lorde admits she “can’t let go” even as the house beat drifting in and out of the song suggests the green light she’s waiting for in order to get on with her life is to be found in the refraction of a nearby disco ball.


NEW YORK: Rap mogul Jay Z will release his latest album at the end of this month, the Tidal music streaming service said Monday, confirming weeks of rumors that the artist was preparing a new project.

The album, titled “4:44”, will be available on June 30 exclusively to Tidal subscribers and to customers of Sprint, the telecom giant that bought a one-third stake in the music streaming platform earlier this year.

The announcement comes on the heels of highly anticipated reports that Jay Z’s pop diva wife Beyonce recently gave birth to twins, making their superstar family a party of five.

A 30-second trailer released late Sunday featuring lyrics from the rapper hinted at the prospect of an album — which was then confirmed just after midnight by Tidal and Sprint.

“Jay Z is a global icon and we’re giving customers an incredible opportunity to be among the first to experience his new album 4:44”, Sprint chief executive Marcelo Claure said in a statement.

Enigmatic promotion efforts began appearing for the project this month when cryptic banners reading “4:44” popped up online and in New York’s Times Square.

The signs turned out to be advertisements for a mysterious film available on Tidal featuring the actors Mahershala Ali, Lupita Nyong’o and Danny Glover, for which a black-and-white trailer featuring Ali as a boxer was later rolled out.

The latest clip includes similar visuals and the same soulful electronic score — and this time closes with four lines from Jay Z.

The album will be the rapper’s first since 2013’s “Magna Carta Holy Grail”.

Though fans now have a release date, it remains unclear whether the album and film will be separate entities or a visual album akin to the conceptual “Lemonade” that Beyonce put out last year.

That intricate project was first released exclusively via Tidal before being offered on Apple’s iTunes.

Jay Z bought Tidal in 2014 from Aspiro, a Norwegian company whose shares are listed in Sweden, and has tried to make it the preferred platform for music afficionados through exclusives, original video content and high-quality audio.

But even with the rapid growth worldwide in streaming, Tidal has struggled and remains a small player in a market dominated by Sweden’s Spotify.

Sprint’s purchase of the Tidal stake for an estimated $200 million surprised many industry watchers, some of whom had doubted the service’s long-term health.

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