Lana Del Rey is set to come out with her new record, Lust for Life, on July 21st, and the advertising leaves fans excited for a new and happier era in Lana’s life. Despite the hype, however, after listening to the longs one after another I have come to the conclusion that this record may or may not be a mix of good and “not quite as good” dispersed evenly throughout the project.
Best known for her old Hollywood references, drug mentions, and angelic voice, Del Rey has released a total of four primary studio albums prior to Lust for Life; each album following a different, yet similar, theme. Born to Die represents the Lolita era of Lana Del Rey, the fresh young face of music and naivety of the younger population in general; Paradise represents the young Americana persona which celebrates freedom and spontaneity; Ultraviolence represents maturity, film noir and sad romance and incorporates looming vocals as well as looming instrumentals; Honeymoon represents on a Utopian and dream like contentment. .
And just this March, Lana Del Rey released the promo for her next record by the title of Lust for Life. The promo itself had me eagerly awaiting new singles to drop, as the video left me with a Twilight Zone- meets- Witch futuristic vibe, and as the last few albums have had hints of the past, it left me anticipating the album even more so than I assumed I would in the beginning.
The first single of her new record, Lust for Life, by the title of “Love” was released in February of this year, and just as the promo did, it left me excited. It still carried on the futuristic and appeal regardless of if one were to watch the video as well or listen to the song alone. “Love” is one of the strongest examples of Lana Del Rey’s musical abilities with just the first verse. It is the line “You're part of the past, but now you're the future,” that still to this day gives me chills listening to it and is the reason “Love” remains my favorite single released in the Lust for Life era.
The album art, pictured below from consequenceofsound.net, was released in early May and it was less satisfying than I had predicted, but it was beautiful regardless.
While I don’t personally believe it fits the songs as well as it couldbe, it definitely paints the picture for a more positive future both for the world and for her music in general. The album art reflects one but not all songs perfectly; if anything, “Love” is the song that could best be paired with the album art.
Lust For Life's title track was released in the middle of April, and following directly after that was the official audio for the title track which features The Weeknd (the music video was later released in May). Musically, it is a close second to “Love” in my book, but the music video is far superior. A comparison I like to use is that of how in old movies when a message is received via television screens. The grainy texture through out the video is what sets it apart, and while “Love” was fantastically done, there was something hypnotic about watching Lana’s free spirit with said grainy filter. It manages a mix of Ultraviolence’s mature and romantic sound with Paradise's free spirit era.
In May, the third single of the Lust for Life era was released by the title of Coachella-Woodstock in my Mind. After mishaps with leaks among the fandom, the song was finally released. Although I was not fond of it at first, after a few listens I finally came to terms that the song was actually good. It is not quite my favorite, but I do think it does encapsulate the same sense of projection as that of John Lennon’s “Imagine” (which is ironic due to her collaboration with Sean Ono Lennon to be featured on the record) and, I predict, will be just as much of a timeless classic.
On July 12, Lana Released “Summer Bummer” and “Groupie Love” and I’m disheartened to say that my speculations were correct, and the singles fell flat.
“Summer Bummer” was one of the more anticipated singles by fans, and also one of the most featured on Lana’s social media, and features artists ASAP Rocky and Playboi Carti. It would often appear in snippets on her story, or in posts which were later deleted. Through the snippets that were featured, I already had my doubts about the single, but simultaneously was curious because Lana and ASAP Rocky had collaborated on one of my favorite songs, “Ridin’” in 2012.
I can not blame “Summer Bummer” for not being like “Ridin’” because of the different eras and maturity, but it fell flat from all the hype. There are a couple of lines in the song that catch my attention, “White lines, black beaches, white lies and black beaches”, but those songs were used when promoting the song, and so it lost it’s initial effect when hearing them in the bridge of a song that I didn’t feel anything special towards. The song is not by any means bad, the vocals are good and as mentioned before, I do love ASAP and Lana’s collaborations, but overall the most amazing part of the track is the bridge, which is short lived.
“Groupie Love” is another story, vaguely. It sounds like it belongs on the record right beside “Love”. Unlike “Summer Bummer” there is a wider range in vocals, and unlike “Summer Bummer” it is primarily performed by Lana herself. Even ASAP Rocky’s verse sounds cohesive to the album as a whole. It has the same optimistic and romantic vibe as “Love” does, while not being the exact same, whereas “Summer Bummer” does not sound like what could be expected when the promo for Lust for Life was originally released. Also, is it me or does the beat sound like her song “Never Let me Go” on steroids?
With the singles, Lana also released the official track list for the upcoming album. (there was one going around the webs, but it had not been confirmed)
It goes as follows:
- Lust for Life (ft. the Weeknd)
- 13 Beaches
- White Mustang
- Summer Bummer (ft. ASAP Rocky and Playboi Carti)
- Groupie Love (ft. ASAP Rocky)
- In My Feelings
- Coachella- Woodstock in my Mind
- God Bless America- And All the Beautiful Women in it
- Beautiful People, Beautiful Problems (ft. Stevie Nicks)
- Tomorrow Never Came (ft. Sean Ono Lennon)
- Get Free
Originally, a song by the title “Yosemite”, which had been leaked earlier in the year and had good responses , was suppose to be added to the record as well, however Lana stated in an interview with Beats 1 Radio on July 12th that“ It was too happy, we’re not there yet… I’m getting to the place that I was singing about in ‘Yosemite’, I’m just not there yet.”
Although I was anticipating this era of Lana Del Rey’s career, I can not say I am completely sold just yet, just because only three of the five songs that have been released have truly impressed me. That being said, the clips that have been released of “White Mustang” leave me anticipating that single as well. I believe that the album will have more diversity in the atmosphere it puts off when listening, and some songs may be a hit or miss, but there’s no doubt it will be a completely different Del Rey.
Lana Del Rey’s album Lust for Life will be released on July 21st, 2017 and preorders are now available.