Lorde’s “Liability”: Teaching Us that We Come First

Lorde’s newest release off her highly-anticipated upcoming album, Melodrama, is a slow and thoughtful ballad. In the four years since her introductory album, Pure Heroine, Lorde has clearly spent a great deal of time growing and learning about herself, and developing her sound as an artist to reflect such.

Following the upbeat breakup anthem Green Light, Liability details a seemingly recurring problem experienced in her dating world – the issue of being too much. This is an issue that stems from her growing success as a musician as well as a large presence in the world of media. Billboard calls the ballad a “stunner”. The lyrics suggest that relationships become an issue when you’re pursuing personal goals that may be larger than yourself.

This echoes for anyone within the twenty-something generation who is experiencing the process of both finding themselves, as well as finding a successful career in which to express themselves within. I know that personally, I struggle letting myself show my true ambitions for fear of both judgement, as well as rejection from those around me.

I have been in a committed relationship for the last year and a half, with a man who has already found his way into a career that suits him and takes him to places all around Canada. I see an entire future with him, and yet, it is blurry when I think about a future for myself besides the aspects involving him. It is easy for me to worry that if I make it entirely clear my real ambitions and ultimately where I would like to see myself in my life and my career, that it could potentially lead to deconstruction of the relationship we’ve been building, and have committed to continue building. This is something I absolutely do not want, and thus I tend to suppress the urge to express the true extent of my personal ambitions – knowing that they may very well conflict with those he himself is fulfilling. Silence is the easier option, but I have been coming to the realization that nothing worth having is easy, and ultimately I owe it to myself to achieve my goals, and let everyone around me know what they are. Regardless if they make me a liability.

Lorde’s Liability showcases the need for self-love above all else, because when everything and everyone else falls away, yourself is all that is left – and yourself is all that you truly need. If you can rely on yourself above all others, it is plausible that you will be amazed at the things you can achieve. This song changed the way I saw my own future, both immediate and distant, and how I understood the agency I hold over it. And if her first two singles are any indication, then the rest of her album will be a worthwhile listen for anyone struggling to find out what the hell to do with their life.

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