Cat Cohen's Anatomy of a Hit a Hit in 2013

Royals by Lorde

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Royals,” an edgy teen feminist anthem, is one of the most refreshingly original songs of the year.

Song: Royals
Artist: Lorde
Album: Pure Heroine
Songwriter: Lorde, Joel Little
Producer: Joel Little
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Concept
Royals,” an edgy teen feminist anthem, is one of the most refreshingly original songs of the year.

Lyric
Unique offbeat poetic lyrics that are both uplifting and defiant in their freedom and irreverence. I've never seen a diamond in the flesh I cut my teeth on wedding rings in the movies And I'm not proud of my address In the torn up town, no post code envy But every song's like: Gold teeth, Grey Goose Tripping in the bathroom Bloodstains, Ball gowns Trashing the hotel room We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams But everybody's like: Crystal, Maybach Diamonds on your timepiece Jet planes, Islands Tigers on a gold leash We don't care, we aren't caught up in your love affair And we'll never be royals (royals) It don't run in our blood That kind of lux just ain't for us, we crave a different kind of buzz Let me be your ruler (ruler) You can call me queen bee And baby I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule Let me live that fantasy

Groove
A mid-tempo 16th groove that is propelled by the rhythmic vocals over sparse quarter-note percussion in the background. A subtle 16th overlay on the sock cymbal completes the accompaniment.

Melody
Hooky and melodic, all three sections are very memorable. at the same time. The melody is in a Mixolydian scale with a flatted seventh tone added replacing the natural 7th of a major scale giving a slightly Celtic sound reflecting Lorde’s half-Irish roots.

Harmony
The recording is done without any chordal accompaniment.

Structure
Verse Pre-chorus Chorus Verse2 Pre-chorus2 Chorus Bridge Chorus ABC ABC D C

Signature
There is no intro and no outro.

Production
The production is about as sparse as found on the airwaves today, almost an a capella performance.

Performance
Lorde’s soft breathy vocal has a uniquely hip expressive style.

Predicted Longevity
A distinctive recording that has propelled Lorde to instant recognition. The song is so haunting in its original way, it should be around for a long time. Already, it has inspired many covers from young women around the world. A Grammy contender next year to be sure, Lorde may indeed be a lock on best new artist. A “4 1/2” on the “Cat Scale” from 1 to 5.

Album Cover: Pure Heroine

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