‘Liability”: Lorde’s Love and Hate Relationship With Fame

Have you ever written a video treatment in your head?

You know the sensation, or at least I think you do. A song plays and when you hear it you realize it is so vividly appealing that you instantly project the artist living it in a world and/or scenario you just made up?  While listening to “Liability,” one of the many emotional songs off Lorde’s recently released second album, Melodrama, I did just that.

So picture this: The video for “Liability” would open in the same taxi cab with Lorde looking at her reflection in the window. In that reflection would be flashes of her memories replaying against rain drops on the outside. When you’re a star, there’s a never ending sense of “go.” It’s always on to the next thing, whether it be an interview on a promo run or a concert. Random get togethers with friends meld into schedules and tour riders. Your old life? Picture locking yourself out of your house and not having a key or windows to get back in. You have the image of what it used to be, but you’ll never really be able to return to it.

Fame in itself a double edged sword. Those bright lights that illuminate and enhance your talents may also seem too hot for the ones that you loved before the journey. Lorde’s musical journey started at the young age of 13, where that momentum lead into her 2014 debut album, Pure Heroine. At that time, with the brevity of maturity that went into that album, it was something refreshing in the pop spectrum, especially from someone so young.

The jump between Pure Heroine and Melodrama is very metaphoric. There comes a time where the heroine of the story meets their foil. While they eventually overcome it, they lose something in the process. Aspects of PH confront the glitz and glamour and staying pure for that. Right from the beginning, “Tennis Court” confronts the very essence of the fleeting nature of popularity – it’s almost prophetic.

Everything’s cool when we’re all in line, for the throne
But I know it’s not forever (yeah)

There’s a certain foreshadowing to it and illusions to winter, but not so much fame. These would be the end of certain relationships and the young girl that Lorde knew. The sunrise that Lorde speaks of in “400 Lux” give away to the pain of losing love and the humid nights dancing it away in Melodrama. It’s a gift and a curse to be talented, mainly because it requires for your to leave things in the past. Unfortunately, gifts come with a cost and will have you blaming yourself for the demise of bonds that you had before your big break.

So, how does this end? Lorde’s lyrics at the end of the song are powerful and poignant.

They’re gonna watch me disappear into the sun, You’re all gonna watch me disappear into the sun“.

I would picture the rain stopping while Lorde gets out of the taxi. Up on the horizon, there’s sunrise. Older and wiser, our heroine goes on her journey. Behind her would be the rain because that would signify the anguish that she is leaving being in Melodrama. Eventually, the warmth of sun dries away the weight rain and tears. Here’s hoping that a shining talent continues to bask in it.

Main Photo Credit: Andrew Whitton

Journalist, Self-published author, and photographer since 2014, Murjani "MJ" Rawls is always looking to stretch his capabilities of his creativity and passions, Rawls has as a portfolio spanning through many mediums including music, television, movies, and more. Operating out of the New York area, Rawls has photographed artists spanning many genres from Slipknot, Kendrick Lamar, Marc Anthony, Zac Brown Band to name a few. Twitter @: MJayRawls