Lana Del Rey - Lust for Life
Lana Del Rey's fourth full-length album is a picturesque view of American pop culture.
The usual broody Lana Del Rey sports a smile on the cover of her new album, Lust for Life, hinting at a more upbeat theme. While this rings true throughout the album with songs full of optimism like "God Bless America - And All the Beautiful Women in it" and "Get Free", there are still moments that feel unequivocally Lana. On "In My Feelings" Lana showcases the shrewd darkness that she is so well known for. Lust for Life seems to be a dreamy snapshot into Lana Del Rey's view of American pop culture.
Compared to her portrayal of relationships on past records, (particularly Ultraviolence) the album opener "Love" presents a beautiful optimistic view of the future and relationships. She patronized the characters singing "Look at you, kids, with your vintage music", but by the end of the song she becomes one of these kids and accepts the persona of a hipster, starry-eyed lover. She comments on the state of young adults and love from the perspective of an older person only to fall victim to this infectious lifestyle herself.
The title track, "Lust for Life", can come across as kind of corny and overtly sexual (what else can you do with The Weeknd), but again Lana portrays a kind of brutal optimism for our future. The Weeknd feature is low key and suits the song perfectly, a dazzling combination destined for a top 40 hit. "White Mustang" also explores these themes of optimism for young adults and their relationships but comes across more like a movie reel than a view that is constructed from experiences. This may be the way that Lana sees modern relationships. The only instance that Lana presents a somber view of these relationships is the beautifully acoustic "Tomorrow Never Came" with Sean Lennon. The chemistry between Sean and Lana and the momentum building with the instrumentals make the song infatuating.
Lana toys with the theme of humanizing fame with the songs "13 Beaches" and "Beautiful People Beautiful Problems". Since fame is such a pillar of American pop culture, it may seem cliche to attempt to humanize some of the problems that accompany fame but Lana connects so well in these songs that any negative feelings are diminished. The strings that open "13 Beaches" give the feel that her last album needed for a true beach style atmosphere. Stevie Nicks gives the piano ballad "Beautiful People Beautiful Problems", a great classic rock feel that works very well in the latter half of the album.
Even in these politically challenging times, Lana stays optimistic with her two diatribes about America, "God Bless America-" and "When the World Was at War We Kept Dancing". At first, these songs seemed like lame chatter but with each listen the optimism oozes more and more. It's a good change given all the negativity these days.
The absolute low point of the album is the dull uninspired trap instrumental tracks with asap rocky/playboy carti. The better of the two, "Summer Bummer", has a pretty catchy hook but sorely lacks any lyrical integrity. Asap Rocky feels out of place on these tracks even with the accommodating instrumentals. Out of all the talent that Lana procures for the making of the album these two tracks sorely fall short. Another relative low light is the one note "Coachella - Woodstock in My Mind". A pretty cringy title with even cringier lyrics that tap into the pure flower power following that Lana has acquired throughout the years. She somewhat ties this song into some of the album themes but it doesn't come across as genuine.
Lust for Life shows a different perspective than what we are used to with Lana Del Rey. Her usual drab voice now graces our ears romantically and optimistically, healing the soul.
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