It's been four whole years since we last heard an album from Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor, better known by her stage name Lorde. In that time frame, which seems like an eternity in the fast-paced world of pop music, she didn't go completely off the radar — she released a few stray singles here and there — but die hard fans were definitely pining for another full-length project. Thankfully, she delivered with the release of "Melodrama".

Just in case you haven't heard

Lorde is a singer/songwriter from New Zealand. When she was in her early teens, she signed an Artist Development Deal with Universal Music Group and spent a lot of time working with acclaimed songwriter and record producer Joel Little.

In 2013, she released "The Love Club EP," which reached No. 2 on the charts in New Zealand and Australia. Later that same year, she released the chart-topping and highly awarded hit "Royals" followed by her debut LP "Pure Heroine," which solidified a loyal fan base for the rising star.

Her style has been described as a number of things, namely dream pop and electro pop. However, critics and listeners alike have also pinpointed obvious musical nods to Hip-Hop and R&B.

Something old and something new

If you know anything about the music business, then you'll know that the hype surrounding sophomore albums can be stressful for an artist, especially when the first one was so successful. This is due to the immense pressure to live up to the expectations they set for themselves when they first revealed their talents to the world.

With "Melodrama," Lorde tackles the challenge with a sense of ease typically reserved for the most seasoned artists.

With "Melodrama," Lorde has managed to maintain that angsty charm — à la Lana Del Rey — that made "Pure Heroine" so popular among Millennial listeners. But on top of that, this album also sports an air of maturity that could've only come with age and a little more life experience.

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Instead of only talking about things like young love, parties, and her dissatisfaction with opulent consumerism, she also takes the time to reflect on the ideas of personal growth and the ways relationships can change after success. These are topics that could potentially introduce her to a brand new set of listeners, without losing the ones she already has.

Musically, this album is also a lot more diverse than her previous endeavors, showcasing a wider array of sounds, rhythms, and chord progressions. Just looking at the singles leading up to this release, listeners could definitely hear a change from the solemn style she'd come to be associated with.

The overall consensus has been that "Melodrama" is a force to be reckoned with in the realm of 2017-18 pop music.