On this day three years ago, Lorde released her sophomore album Melodrama. It’s hard to articulate how meaningful Melodrama has been to me—it’s my favourite album of all time, and whatever is second place doesn’t come close. I remember the year the album came out: playing it on repeat every day, seeing Lorde at Osheaga in Montreal, and seeing her again at the Melodrama World Tour in Toronto.
To celebrate the album, I made a webpage adaptation of the lyrics booklet that comes with the physical CD.
It’s mobile friendly but I prefer it on desktop. It was a pleasure to make, I hope you enjoy. The rest of this post is just some tidbits on the making-of!
When I listen to music with really good songwriting, I sometimes want to read the lyrics as I listen along. Any lyrics site like Genius is good enough normally, but for listening to an album front-to-back, navigating between songs is quite annoying. It would be amazing if lyrics websites offered a full-album view!
While looking for the best lyrics-viewing experience, I found high-quality scans of the Melodrama album booklet on Imgur. This was a high-fidelity format for reading lyrics, but not so suitable for the web, so I decided to adapt it into a webpage. This project would not have been possible without these scans from Reddit user u/Hawkachino.
I transcribed the lyrics from the scans myself rather than copying the lyrics from a lyrics site. This was important for capturing the various idiosyncrasies of the “official” lyrics: the particular usage of punctuation (like the use of brackets and em-dashes), the formatting (the line breaks, the italics), and even the choice of spelling (e.g. “tryna”, “i”). They were clear stylistic choices that I wanted to preserve as much as possible. This was actually a fun experience—it allowed me to dwell on each word and turn of phrase. Good writing is worth poring over.
Unlike most lyrics sites, the official lyrics don’t repeat any refrains or choruses. I like this choice because it allows the lyrics to read more like a poem—they stand up well on their own without the music. There’s one instance of a refrain in “Supercut” where Lorde changes the line “I’m someone you maybe might love” to “Slow motion, I’m watching our love”, and the official lyrics don’t include it. Besides that, the booklet records every single line.
The rest of the process was just formatting the CSS to be true to the booklet, using Photoshop to grab the song titles, and grabbing the images from a combination of the scans and the original photos from the photographer’s website. I used the font Canela, which is also used in the Melodrama vinyl song list (thanks Sharon for finding the font for me!).
I hope others who love Melodrama and love reading along to the lyrics will find this useful! Melodrama forever.