Album Reviews Music

Musical Advent Calendar #17 Lana Del Rey – Lust For Life

Lust for Life, Lana Del Rey’s 5th studio album was released after much anticipation from fans on July 21st this year. This album is a whopping 16 tracks long; that’s nearly 72 whole minutes of Lana-goodness. The album has been featured on NME and Rolling Stone’s best albums of 2017 and has received much positive feedback from fans.

The first track ‘Love’ features Del Rey’s typical vintage pop sound over grand orchestral backgrounds; it’s a song that seems reflective and nostalgic. The title track ‘Lust for Life’ follows but doesn’t make me quite as excited, maybe because I was a little confused by the choice to collaborate with ‘The Weeknd’ but it is followed by my favourite track of the album ‘13 Beaches’ so the complaint doesn’t last long. Songs ‘Cherry’ and ‘White Mustang’ seem more reminiscent of the old Lana; lyrically she harks back to her days of reflecting on relationship trouble and falling in love with men she shouldn’t.

The album then brings in the collaborations with A$AP Rocky and Playboy Carti on trap style songs ‘Summer Bummer’ and ‘Groupie Love’. Lana and Rocky have been friends for many years with him featuring in her music video for ‘National Anthem’ so it did seem natural that they should collaborate on a track at some point and the result does not disappoint.

The second half of the album does seem to swerve towards political themes with songs like ‘Coachella-Woodstock’, ‘in my Mind’, ‘God Bless America’ and ‘When the World Was at War We Just Kept Dancing’. This political twist on lyrics and songs is not a totally new concept for Lana and these songs are still enjoyable, however, they are amongst the most heavily critiqued of the album for being too layered with sometimes meaningless political imagery. Towards the end of the album, there can be nothing but praise for Lana’s collaborations with impressive names such as Sean Ono Lennon and Stevie Nicks, followed by some bigger ballads in songs such as ‘Change’.

The name of the album itself Lust for Life signals a move away from previous darker albums such as Ultraviolence and Born to Die. The album artwork also delivers a much happier and content image of Lana who can be seen beaming onset of the music video for her songLove. Yes, this album is different to her others, but this is typical of Lana whose work often reflects her evolution as both an artist and a person.

Martha Hughes