At just 16 years old, New Zealand pop singer Ella Yelich-O’Connor—d.b.a. Lorde—captured the top of the pop charts with the smart and wise-beyond-her-years single “Royals,” where she trashes modern pop and hip-hop’s obsession with materialism in favor of a world of love, friendship, and ideas. It’s the best Morrissey song he never wrote. Her earlier The Love Club EP primed audiences for what they’d be hearing, but nothing could prepare one for the actual excitement of her debut album’s best cuts. Lorde’s co-conspirator/producer/writer Joel Little ensures that songs like “Tennis Court,” “Ribs," and “Buzzcut Season” never lose their way. This is sharp, inspired pop music that knows how much fun it can be to play up to type and then spin things on their heads for a new conclusion.