Lorde rocks Monster High style amidst a shelf full of Bratz, Barbies and American Girls.) Lorde is a phenomenon because of perfect timing. She came along just when listeners were craving what "Royals" famously advocates: a different kind of buzz. In 2013, the culture's longings and anxieties coalesced for the umpteenth time around youthful excess cooked within a stew of racial tension, class dissatisfaction and identity blur. The mood built all year, hitting a peak in late summer, when the former tween role model Miley Cyrus turned herself into an It Girl by doing what It Girls have always done: flaunting her budding vitality with a shimmy, a tongue-wag and a twerk. As self-aware as she was crass, Miley w-re-e-ecked us by continually identifying new hot buttons and pushing until they were sticky. Her antics helped sell many copies of her album Bangerz, but its genuine musical freshness made a minor impression next to her tricksterism.