After releasing her prescient, apocalyptic masterpiece Norman Fucking Rockwell! Lana Del Rey received a torrent of critical acclaim for the album and critical attacks for her social media posts. Such is the circle game of the internet. Lana preempted the potential reaction to her follow up album by announcing that she felt sorry for it in advance, knowing it could never match up to its older sibling. In the end she shouldn’t have worried. Chemtrails Over the Country Club is cool, confident and content in its own skin. Continue reading “Album Review: Lana Del Rey – Chemtrails Over the Country Club”
Last year in her song ‘The Greatest’ Lana Del Rey, with an eerie prescience, predicted the nightmarish world we are now living in. She sang about how the world was burning, how she missed New York, missed the music, how Kanye West was gone, how the livestream was on…calling it the greatest loss of them all. We didn’t know what we had til it was gone.
Some albums win end of year polls and are forgotten as soon as the year turns. Others define the mood of a whole era, and for me Norman Fucking Rockwell, with its bittersweet odes to our painful modern reality, does just that.
The final song on the album ‘hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but I have it’ is a necessary reminder that even in dystopian, pandemic hell we must need to cling to beauty, music, poetry, hope above all else.
In that song Lana described herself as 24/7 Sylvia Plath, which some may raise an eyebrow at – after all this is an artist who has long used such reference points as part of her glamodrama musical aesthetic. But this was no throwaway lyric. Lana was serious about writing poetry and has now published her first collection Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass. Continue reading “On Lana Del Rey and the sweet gift of ‘Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass’”
I hadn’t listened much to Lana Del Rey before I began writing this blog. Sure I knew Summertime Sadness and Video Games but they didn’t encourage me to listen further. There was something about her sad-girl-loves-bad-boys image that made me think she was a construct, a record label fantasy surely created by a man. Her dead eye stare was as cold as the beats of her over produced music.
And, to be honest, I still don’t know if I’m entirely wrong about those initial assumptions. What I do know is that with Norman Fucking Rockwell! Lana Del Rey just released one of the best albums of 2019. Her quiet evolution into one of the most vital voices of this year has been quite stunning to witness. Continue reading “Album Review: Lana Del Rey – Norman Fucking Rockwell!”