Lana Del Rey’s “Lust For Life” is the album she was born to make
Here’s the best news of 2017: queen Lana Del Rey dropped a new record today.
It might as well be a national holiday, because while “Lust For Life” reveals a much more honest and raw Lana, the record also is unexpectedly conscientious of the current events and world around her. She literally asks, “Is this is end of America?” on “When the World Was At War We Kept Dancing.”
This is the album 2017 needs.
When combined with this modernity, the tone of this new record make it feel happier and genuine. Maybe because Lana is actually happier. Last night, she hosted a small listening party to celebrate the release of the album with fans, and between hopping on the mic to sing along with the new tracks, she paraded and sashayed around the stage in Adidas sweatpants and flats, clearly not giving a f*ck about anything and relishing in the lightness that is her new existence.
I mean, who tf else sings, “I’m crying while I’m coming/Making love while I’m making that money,” as she does on “In My Feelings”?
That’s exactly the attitude she’s taken on this record as well. Instead of giving into the themes of darkness that simultaneously plagued and charmed her previous records, which totally would have been appropriate given the abysmal state of things, Lana’s “Lust for Life” turns both inward and towards the future.
It’s not just about the direction though: the whole record sounds different. Sonically, “Lust For Life” walks between contemporary R&B bass lines and dreamy 70s melodies which take Lana’s lyrical content to the next level. The 70s vibe is really honed in on tracks like “Beautiful People, Beautiful Problems” which features none other than the queen of retro vibes, Stevie Nicks.
It is also heavily felt on “Tomorrow Never Came” which features John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s son, Sean Ono Lennon.
Despite the 70s vibes, the songs feel present and relevant.
And this is true for nearly all the tracks on this record. While they each have their vibe, the record still manages to feel cohesive and the songs work together to reflect the world rather than creating the gloomy parallel universe of Lana’s where her previous records existed.
What this means to me is that somewhere between the chaos and turmoil we’ve endured since the 2015 release of her last record, “Honeymoon,” Lana has found herself. This isn’t to say that she wasn’t self-assured or aware while making the previous records. But, when we look at how little we knew about who the actual Lana Del Rey was, especially when compared to how much we knew about the Lana Del Rey persona that at times felt almost too ethereal to be real, all of her emotions had been filtered through some sort of external relationship, be it with violent men or drugs.
But now, she’s telling like it is. “It’s just the way I feel/And I’d be lying/If I kept hiding/The fact that I can’t deal,” she sings on one of my favorite tracks “13 Beaches.” At first listen, it seems like it’d obviously fit right in with Lana’s discography, complete with lyrics like “it hurts to love you,” but the honesty shines through when she says, “Finally I’m fine.”
Mature and solid, like this is the album Lana Del Rey was destined to make. And of course a lot of Lana’s evolution of sorts owes itself to the political climate, but she definitely put in the effort.
In case you’re either social media deprived or out of the loop, there was a major trend of celebs hopping on the “woke liberal” bandwagon this past year. Especially after the election, we saw an awakening of sorts — and right there on the front lines: Lana Del Rey.
Unlike so many other white women in the spotlight who seemed to go through an idealogical overhaul this year, Lana did it subversively.
Even though she made some rather questionable comments about not identifying as a feminist a few years ago, Lana corrected herself and really made social consciousness her goal. Unless you were paying attention, Lana’s awakening totally might have slipped through grates of your social media feeds (which is a welcome method when compared to a MET Ball performance with Migos to prove your wokeness). She quietly began taking up certain issues via social media. It really started with awareness during the past election cycle when she tweeted out asking where fans were watching the presidential debates.
Then she released the protest-esque track “Coachella (Woodstock in My Mind),” which if I’m being honest, casted some doubt in my mind about Lana being able to accomplish this transformation. The track was VERY on the nose, almost to the point of discomfort and led me to wonder if Lana really thought that Coachella could be the equivalent of Woodstock.
Oh, and let’s not forget about her stint as a witch, advocating for spells to be cast on President Donald Trump.
But then this record came out, and proved to everyone that Lana is here, awake, and she’s not playing. “Who’s tougher than this bitch?/Who’s freer than me?” Lana sings on “In My Feelings.”
On the last track, “Get Free,” she seems to make the resolve to acknowledge her inner power to have control over her emotions: “Finally I’m crossing the threshold… And now I do, I wanna move/Out of the black/Into the blue.” The track ends with a nearly minute long sonic landscape which include birds chirping, that feels as though she has reached the summit of whatever struggles she’s faced.
This record is the best of Lana’s yet, and she’s apparently already working another. “God Bless America — And All the Beautiful Women In It,” goes another one of her song titles. Thank you Lana, God bless you too girly.