There’s certainly no lack of bubblegum pop artists in the music business, to the point where Lana Del Rey, in all her sobering glory, becomes somewhat of a spectacle. The songstress, who at one point in her career said that her first album Born To Die would also be her last, has returned for now the fourth time with the delectable Lust For Life and this time her splash back on the scene has been more highly anticipated than ever.
It had been confirmed by producers that Del Rey would retain the same vintage, Americana aesthetic that dominates her material, but this album would see her take a different path in terms of her sound in comparison to her previous effort Honeymoon. This had been apparent from the release of the album’s lead single ‘Love’, which also serves at the first track on the album itself. It’s an anthem of its time, an ode to romance but still as unique as ever while sung in Del Rey’s entrancing vocals.
Moving on, there’s the second single, the titular track, a collaboration with Canadian singer-songwriter The Weeknd and the perfect soundtrack to a wild, enchanting dream. There were a number of promotional singles also released since early summer including some material in collaboration with A$AP Rocky whom Del Rey has worked with before, but it’s the album tracks that really stand out when listening to the record from start to finish. ‘In My Feelings’, for example, has a powerful effect on a listener with its feisty, in-your-face lyrics. It’s an opportunity for Del Rey to show she’s not quite the damsel in distress that she’s been painted as over the years— she’s versatile, adapting herself where she sees fit and therefore making herself the hottest of commodities.
As the album continues, Del Rey manages to get somewhat political. She’s been quite vocal on her disdain for Donald Trump, even claiming that she has performed witchcraft to bring him to his demise. ‘God Bless America — And All The Beautiful Women In It’ is a thinly-veiled jab at the state of America and it’s gun-crime, with the chorus playing out, “God bless America,” before a gunshot sounds twice. ‘When The World Was At War We Kept Dancing’ touches on the past, but also wonders for the future.
In the past, Del Rey has been accused of being “insincere”, and that the woes she sings of are an exaggeration of real events. The general consensus however is that she’s as authentic as they come, and even so regardless, she possesses a talent like no other. It’s not difficult to find a half-rate singer, produce their track on a MacBook and then promote it as “pop music” these days, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone quite as remarkable as Lana Del Rey.