Album Review: Lana Del Rey’s “Lust For Life”
By Ava Alaeddini
Lana Del Rey’s fourth major-label album was released on July 21st, 2017 by Interscope Records. The album was critically praised by critics, who said that they were happy about the changes of Del Rey’s sound in her new record. She went from a moody sort of 1950s/1960s era of a sound to a more nostalgic 1970s/1980s sound. The album opened up number one at the Billboard top charts.
The opening track of Del Rey’s album gives off a 1980s vibe of teenagers falling in love. The melody is slow in the beginning of the first few verses and then picks up and gets louder in the chorus. The beat is consistent and Del Rey makes sure the background singing gets stuck in your head to the point where you are humming the simple verse, “Don’t worry, baby” over and over again.
“Lust For Life (ft. The Weeknd)”
In the second track, Del Rey makes a number of old Hollywood references, as she does with many of her songs. One example is the lyrics “Climb on the H of the Hollywood sign / In this stolen moment / The world is mine” which references to Pam Entwistle’s famous 1932 suicide where she jumped off the H of the Hollywood sign. Del Rey also echoes a late 1960s sound and takes advantage of her ability to sing high which mixes well with The Weeknd’s more contemporary style.
This dreamy song opens up with an audio clip from the 1962 cult film “Carnival of Souls” which sets the mood for the song by saying “I don’t belong in the world / Thats what it is / Something separates me from other people / Everywhere I turn / There’s something blocking my escape”. The song is said to be about a paparazzi incident that Del Rey experienced since she is often photographed out in public. This is also my favorite song on the entire album, since it really reminds me of Lana in her Born To Die/Ultraviolence days where she sang more of a moody 50s and 60s tune.
This song is a particularly underrated song on the album. However, it is the one that reminds me most of Lana Del Rey in her earliest days before her hit album Born To Die. She uses her vocal range to her advantage in this song, hitting high and low notes perfectly. It had a repetitive rhythm to it that makes the listener want to sing along to Del Rey’s voice.
This slow ballad talks about the story of Del Rey loosing someone who she took for granted and going through the pain of seeing them again, she incorporates the lifestyle and references of decades like the 60s, 70s and 80s. This song gives off the classic Lana Del Rey nostalgia that she likes to incorporate into a lot of her songs.
“Summer Bummer (ft. A$AP Rocky and Playboi Carti)”
This song brings out Del Rey’s hip hop streak that she has incorporated into her latest album. This brings out her more mature side and shows how even in a shaky entertainment industry, Del Rey can distance herself from her 1950s-1980s persona and move into more contemporary sounds for those who enjoy more of a hip hop sound without making it sound like she is trying to hard to seem like someone else.
“Groupie Love (ft. A$AP Rocky)”
It is no secret that one of Lana Del Rey’s best friends in the entertainment industry is A$AP Rocky. This is his second collaboration on her latest album, and he also starred alongside her in her music video for her song “National Anthem” where Del Rey portrayed former First Lady Jackie Kennedy and former movie star Marilyn Monroe while A$AP Rocky played a modern twist on former President John F. Kennedy. Groupie Love talks about falling in love with a famous star and living in their world while dealing with love and heartbreak. This is another song with a more of a R&B twist to it.
“In My Feelings”
This song has to be the most upbeat song on “Lust For Life”, it has a dreamy pop tune that Del Rey uses to her advantage. This song has to be one of my favorite songs on the album, and also the song with the most reaction since Del Rey is known to have toned down her songs during her Ultraviolence/Honeymoon eras into more melancholy songs, and this was a surprising throwback to a more Born To Die era of a sound.
“Coachella – Woodstock In My Mind”
This second half of the album turns more political starting with this song. Del Rey sings the opening lyrics talking about being at the Coachella music festival and dancing until realizing that while she and her friends are enjoying themselves, there are tragic events that are happening in the world. Countries are fighting each other, and children and their parents are torn apart from each other and there is still a lot of hate in the world. Del Rey channels this sorrow into a song about everyone joining together at the Coachella music festival and channeling all their love to help change the world and make it a better place.
“God Bless America – And All The Beautiful Women In It”
This song is dedicated to all the women who live in America, and continue to fight and advocate for women’s rights on the daily. Del Rey sings about the struggle of inequality for women, and how she will not stand for men treating her as some object, and how other people must address the issue of sexism in modern day America. This song addresses some important aspects of sexism, while also promoting patriotism in America.
“When The World Was At War We Kept Dancing”
This is probably the most political song on Del Rey’s album. The topic is talking about the 2016 Presidential election in the United States. Del Rey sings about experiencing fear and distaste in America’s future singing in the chorus, “Is this the end of an era / Is this the end of America?”. The song wasn’t the most popular song off the album, but it was one of the most influential. Lana Del Rey isn’t shy about her political views, she is a strong liberal in the mass sea of differences in Hollywood, and has talked about her dislike of President Donald Trump. She channels the political talk into simple words that she sings to get the attention of other people, and this song is a prime example of her views.
“Beautiful People Beautiful Problems (ft. Stevie Nicks)”
From the point of view of a music critic, this had to have been one of the most anticipated songs off of Lana Del Rey’s new album. Most everyone knows who Stevie Nicks is, a member of the legendary band Fleetwood Mac. Del Rey has been a huge fan of hers for a while, and the chance to have her one Del Rey’s new album is huge. This melancholy song brings Del Rey’s strong vocals together with Stevie Nick’s legendary voice. The song sings about loving someone who isn’t yours and feeling like you are wasting your love on that one person.
“Tomorrow Never Came (ft. Sean Ono Lennon)”
Another legendary artist is featured again on Del Rey’s new album. Sean Ono Lennon is the son of the late John Lennon, who was a member of the Beatles. He is featured on this song which is one of the most popular songs off the album, with other people in the entertainment industry praising it like Taylor Swift. This song is accompanied with an indie sound, with Lana and Sean’s voice mixing together to sound like a dream.
This song touches on the serious and dangerous topic of drug addiction. Del Rey sings about someone being hooked on heroin and the dangerous costs that come along with doing such a thing. She sings about life blocking her way of having new opportunities and the struggle of leaving the addiction of drugs and the torturous withdrawals that come along with having to quit drugs and get help.
This slow piano ballad uses little music and helps focus on Del Rey’s voice and lyrics. She sings some powerful lyrics, making the listener have to think to try and figure out what they think the song is about. The song is ultimately about change in someone’s life and how it can affect them in a positive or negative way.
In my opinion, this is one of the most underrated songs on “Lust For Life”. I especially love the beat in this song, and the play on words that Del Rey uses in this song. The song switches from a moody calm tone to a more upbeat tone in the chorus and the later verses of the song. As the closing track to Lana Del Rey’s latest album, it does justice in proving that the singer has more to her than meets the eye, and that she will be a long lasting figure in the music industry.
If you enjoyed this album review or if it made you interested in who Lana Del Rey is, you can find some of her music using these links…
Lana Del Rey on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/00FQb4jTyendYWaN8pK0wa
Lana Del Rey’s VEVO channel: https://www.vevo.com/artist/lana-del-rey
Lana Del Rey’s “Lust For Life” album: https://lana.lnk.to/LFLaID