Lana Del Rey has a new album and MARIAH JAEGER is loving its summer hits.
Lust for Life has a lighter, happier feel than previous Lana Del Rey releases although she still keeps her cool through the (northern hemisphere) summer with dreamy spacious vocals. The album features a golden list of collaborations with A$AP Rocky, The Weeknd, Playboi Carti, Stevie Nicks and Sean Lennon.
Lana Del Rey has always been a romantic in voice, lyrics and sound and the whole recording sounds like a summer romance between Lana and America. She has always carried this American aesthetic in her songs – “Blue Jeans”, “White Mustang”, “Cola”. America is in her blood and Lust For Life is a perfect collection of this.
A consistent theme of Lana’s music is a sense of freedom in the world as she sings in “Love”: “The world is yours and you can’t refuse it/Seen so much, you could get the blues, but,/That doesn’t mean that you should abuse it”. Yet this is restricting in the sense that Lana has always been stuck in an empty love and therefore was a prisoner of her own world.
Lust For Life is new, it’s refreshing, it’s romantic and has a, sweet vintage feeling to it even down to the song titles, “Cherry”, “White Mustang”, “Groupie Love”, “God Bless America” and” Tomorrow Never Came” are a few examples of the nostalgic feeling gained from listening to a The Beatles track. “On Tomorrow Never Came”, the voices are soft and the music rises and falls, it sounds exactly like an old record that belongs on vinyl with Lana and Sean Lennon’s voices both sounding grander and sweeter than ever.
“Groupie Love” is once again dreamy with an appearance from A$AP Rocky who delivers the same romantic approach: “You and I ’til the day we die”. The album is a collection of genres, hip-hop mixed with indie, rock or pop each song varying from the other although never sounding out of place.
Lana incorporates beautiful lyrics such as “My cherries and wine, rosemary and thyme” in “Cherry”, “And what about all their wishes wrapped up like garland roses, Round their little heads?…. I’d trade it all for a stairway to heaven” in “Coachella – Woodstock in My Mind” and “Key lime and perfume and festivals, Taking’ our dreams, turning’ them to things/ It’s like magic, babe, isn’t life wonderful?” in “Groupie Love”.
Although Lana’s love for America is throughout the entire album she explores the dark parts of fame and drugs, a large part of what America is famous for. In “Heroin” she sings, “Life rocked me like Mötley, Bad beginning’ to my new year, Life rocked me ultra-softly, Like the heavy, metal that you hear”, using a reference to Mötley Crüe, famous for its members’ struggles with addiction. Lana almost uses heroin as an metaphor for love and fame, “how it gave you everything and took your life away”.
She also alludes to Charles Manson and the Manson family and their murders, exploring dark pasts of American pop culture and throughout the whole album she sings poetically about love and fame in America and the light and dark nostalgia that is within American blood.