Lana Del Rey: ‘Lust for Life’ (LP)
If I’m honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Lana Del Rey‘s newest album; I’m a fan, but the lead single ‘Love’ really didn’t do anything for me. It just seems to be flat and lacking something, unlike ‘Video Games’, the song that had so many of us falling in love with her six summers ago.
This album is quite heavy on the featured artists, which I was also a bit unsure of, but most of the collaborations actually work really well. I especially love the way Del Rey’s voice blends with Stevie Nicks‘ on ‘Beautiful People, Beautiful Problems’.
While Del Rey is known for her use of Americana iconography, and an almost eerie sense of faux-nostalgia, in her lyrics (it’s one of the things I like about her music), there are times on this album where it almost borders on self-parody. Don’t get me wrong – the clearly intentional meta nature of ‘Coachella – Woodstock In My Mind’ isn’t lost on me. I get it. It’s just, no level of self-awareness can get me through a story of watching Father John Misty perform to a sea of flower crowns. Sorry Lana.
With all of that said though, when Del Rey gets it right, it results in some of her strongest material. ‘God Bless America’ was written in response to the Republican’s continued attack on women’s rights, and it’s one of the album’s highlights.
The also-political ‘When the World Was at War, We Kept Dancing’ is another favourite of mine; deliciously dark in its prediction of World War III, it seems Lana is at her best when she goes that bit deeper with her song meanings.
I started off this review under the opinion that this was Del Rey’s weakest album, overall. However, with repeated listens as I wrote, it has definitely grown on me! I don’t imagine ‘Lust For Life’ will do much in terms of gaining Del Rey more fans, it will hopefully appeal to her already admirable fanbase, and perhaps turn some casual fans into something more.