LA is in flames, it's getting hot
Kanye West is blonde and gone
Life on Mars is just a song
Oh the live stream's almost on
The Queen of Depp sings about America's condition in the song The Greatest, and she does well. The message in combination with the soft, seductive, angelic voice illustrates the sentiment of the present on the dot: The clock is five in hell but we are happy to snooze a bit if someone just dares us to sleep.
Most of the songs on Norman fucking Rockwell are as usual with Del Rey about complicated love. Destructive, dangerous, sad - but sexy. And being sad on bright, Californian beaches or crying behind the surfboard is a good metaphor for what it feels like to live in the Western world's self-created but lethal abundance in 2019.
Lana Del Rey's sound has always been beautiful but melancholic, retro but totally unique. But Norman fucking Rockwell is a big step away from the more recent album Lust for life, when she collaborated with Max Martin and The Weeknd. This despite the fact that this time she has taken the help of the stars right now, perhaps the most sought after producer, Jack Antonoff, who also produced Taylor Swift's latest album which was released just a week earlier.
For music, Lana Del Rey goes her own way more than ever when she now does something as outdated as a tribute to the folk rock. The songs are long and slow, the Venice bitch already released as a single is almost ten minutes of jamming, long flamboyant psychedelic guitar solos and sometimes barely audible vocals.
When other artists release an EP or divide their albums into several parts of fear that we won't be able to give every song the attention it deserves, Del Rey releases an album almost entirely without potential hits. Norman fucking Rockwell is most of all a mood, something to listen to on the couch on a Sunday when you have time to zoom in - and out. And whoever takes the time will be rewarded. The piano game is flowing and delicate, the wind at the end of the title track is perfectly subtle.
In terms of text, Del Rey is better and more accurate than ever. Your poetry's bad and you blame the news, is a line that is both fun and stylish: expectations of her upcoming collection of poems are rising. However, Looking for America is missing, the protest song she released at the beginning of the month in response to several tragic mass shootings in the United States. Lana Del Rey likes to be political, because she knows the art of being it without turning a song into a toned-down sender for that matter.
Del Rey is sometimes criticized for many of her songs portraying women as passive, weak victims. Sacrifice for wicked and loveless men in bad relationships. The criticism is largely correct. Sometimes her wicked girl stands one in the throat. But in a time full of strong Taylor Swifts and cursed and vengeful Beyoncés, Del Rey is also a healthy fan when she dares to be weak.