Recordings | September 2017

By Julio C. Reyna, September 2017 Issue.

Artist: Lana Del Rey

Album: Lust For Life

Label: Interscope


“It’s more than just a video game.” On Lust For Life, her fourth major label release, Lana Del Rey is doing Lana Del Rey better than Lana Del Rey has done Lana Del Rey on previous efforts. What that means is for someone who so frequently – and openly – borrows, it was only a matter of time before she started referencing herself and pulling from her own archive.

With 16 tracks lasting 72 minutes, this is her longest album yet. The themes and sonic aesthetics are familiar as well; there are heartbreakers, the love of old cinema and allusions of Americana. There are gunshots, strings, hip-hop beats. A for-the-fans affair that a casual listener may find to be a bit bloated. The album is also her most collaboration-heavy, featuring the likes of A$AP Rocky, Playboi Carti, Sean Ono Lennon, The Weeknd and Stevie Nicks.

The most all-encompassing song on the album is “13 Beaches,” which showcases the lyrical intensity of Ultraviolence, the atmospheric buildup of Honeymoon and is polished off with the hip-hop finish that made tracks from Born To Die so memorable.

“Coachella-Woodstock On My Mind,” finds her amid an existential crisis during Father John Misty’s set at Coachella when she found out that North Korea was launching missile tests. And this album isn’t without one of her infamous one-liners: “In My Feelings” delivers with “I’m crying while I’m cumming.”

Lust for Life opens optimistically about all the promise a new relationship can bring on “Love” and concludes with “Get Free,” where she acknowledges that, perhaps, she has spent too much time inside in her head is ready to move things along. She is not sure when the changes in her life will come but she is finally open to them.

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