Lust for Life by Lana Del Rey
Review by Anthony Sennett
Lana Del Rey's highly anticipated album 'Lust for Life' was released last Friday, July 21. Lana is a 30 year old alternative musician who went through multiple stage names before she reached her stardom. I first heard of Lana back in 2011 when she released her iconic debut single, 'Video Games.' I, and many others, were spellbound by her unique and gorgeous voice. She has gone on to release three wonderful albums and an EP named 'Paradise.' Her fourth studio album, 'Lust for Life,' is already clearly one of the strongest projects I've heard this year. While each of Lana's albums have a cohesive and full feeling to them, this feels like her most ordered and climatic album. Each track on the album has a purpose and it goes smoothly through multiple phases.
The album begins with a beautiful ode to her fans on the track 'Love.' While Lana's last album was a masterpiece, it wasn't what some listeners wanted it to be. She says she made that album for herself, and this one is for the fans. 'Love' has a huge, cinematic feeling to it. It illustrates a brighter outlook on the world and sets the tone sonically and thematically for the rest of the album. The title track, 'Lust For Life,' follows 'Love,' and it has the same ethereal and grandiose feeling to it. It includes her first feature in her discography with the artist 'The Weeknd.' He is often described as Lana's male counterpart, so they obviously make a fantastic duo. The next track, '13 Beaches,' is a haunting and atmospheric look into Lana's life with very interesting lyrical content and a fantastic sound. It explores Lana's world of hiding herself from her loved ones and the paparazzi.
Over a fantastic rhythm, Lana sings a star crossed and sultry song entitled 'Cherry' that makes for a very groovy listen. 'White Mustang' is a low key track that features typical Lana lyrical content, which is not a bad thing. It might be the least memorable moment on the record, but it is still a very enjoyable listen. The next two tracks feature A$AP Rocky, and have very distinct sounds and vibes. 'Summer Bummer' is a dark and wonderful bop. Lana sings a very catchy hook with lines like 'we traveled for weeks just to escape your demons.' I was very unsure of how well the track would fare due to the fact it's featuring Playboi Carti. His solo material is enjoyable, but thinking of him rapping alongside Lana seemed like a strange choice. In the end, it works very well and makes for a great track. 'Groupie Love' portrays Lana as a fan and lover of A$AP Rocky. They have wonderful chemistry and it is a bright and cute moment. 'In My Feelings' fits very well along with the tracks preceding it. This was originally my least favorite track, but the more I listen to it the more I love it. It's definitely not the most complex track, but it emits a 'yonce by Beyoncé' level of confidence that is undeniably fun.
'Coachella - Woodstock in My Mind' kicks off a more politically charged series of songs. This track was released in May, and the sound took awhile to grow on me. She sings of a tense climate, and a fear of how all the children would be effected in a possibly perilous future. 'God Bless America - and All the Beautiful Women in It' captures Lana's love for the people of said country and her hope for what this country could be. The lyrics are strong over the entire track, but I personally feel that the rhythm of the chorus is the weakest on the record. It's still great, just not my favorite. 'God Bless America' flows perfectly into 'While the World was at War, We Kept Dancing.' This song is a portrayal of the fears Lana showcased on 'Coachella' becoming a reality. She takes a motherly stance, guiding the women and men, helping them adjust to their grim circumstances. She shows that we can move past even the worst of moments with an optimistic outlook. The production on this track is wonderful too. The pre-chorus is one of the best moments of this record.
Two amazing collaborations follow each other back to back with 'Beautiful People, Beautiful Problems' with Stevie Nicks, and 'Tomorrow Never Came' with Sean Lennon. The wide range of genres and sounds from Lana's featured artists shows how versatile and capable she is as an artist. 'Beautiful People, Beautiful Problems' is such a huge deal. The fact that Lana Del Rey and Stevie Nicks, who I feel are counterparts from different generations, are on a track together is enough to make this track brilliant. Thankfully, the rhythm and lyrics live up to the hype. Lana and Stevie blend so well together, and that is the case once again with 'Tomorrow Never Came' with Sean. This is definitely one of the most light-hearted sounding songs in Lana's discography overlaid with melancholy lyrics. Sean and Lana create pure magic with this track, and it is definitely a highlight.
'Heroin' is the darkest song on the album, and it describes the vanishing of her relationship with an addict. It is very climatic and raw making for one of the best songs on the album. Track fifteen, 'Change,' is a subtle and ominous yet powerful ballad which showcases Lana being strong even with her doubts. The piano beneath Lana creates a wonderful atmosphere. The final track, 'Get Free,' concludes the album perfectly. It is the most upbeat song on the album, and is very catchy. I can’t help but think of the TV Show 'Twin Peaks' when i hear the bass line which adds even more wonder to the track. With lyrical call backs to earlier songs and a powerful message of moving on from her 'Born to Die' outlook on life, there could be no better way to end this record.
Lana truly did not let down with this project. She has such a distinct sound yet manages to create a diverse and fresh album every time. Her records always get better with repeated listens, so the few problems I had with this album will most likely soon vanish. Personally, I feel the best tracks are 'Get Free,' 'Tomorrow Never Came,' and 'Heroin.' There is something for everyone on this album, so give it a chance!
Rating : 9/10
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