Boy are you in for a treat with this alluringly beautiful craft.
I thought I would write you a total personal download of the album; take it as you will. This is only from one excessively avid Lana fan.
I’m a sucker for wordplay so let’s start with the lyrics.
Clever re-arrangements of the alphabet have forever been Lana’s glowing talent. Her lyrics aren’t merely words that rhyme in song, they are poems, they are lengths of divine art, and they speak to politics, international affairs and of what it is to be a modern woman. Her lyrics are therapy to me as they forever look to challenge the current music landscape. A few stand-out lyrics from the album fall within 2 songs, ‘Dark But Just A Game’ and ‘Yosemite’.
As the weather gets a little chillier. I’m looking for cozy songs I can curl up with my own head under the duvet. ‘Dark But Just A Game’ does just that. The title comes from a direct quote from producer Jack Anotoff, as he uncovers the realities many stars face as they play a facade to keep within the status quo of celebrity life. “It’s dark, but just a game/That’s what he would say to me/The faces aren’t the same, but their stories all end tragically/(Sweet or whatever, baby)
/And that’s the price of fame”. Lana draws on the insecurities of artists in today’s incredibly pressureful celebrity culture. It’s refreshing to hear the insight on what life can really be like from someone so successful. Personally, it reminds me of the kind of corporate stigma we face in today’s everyday line of work, so I’ll definitely be belting this one out in the shower.
In comparison you’ve got the track, ‘Yosemite’, stirring completely different thoughts within, this time pulling at the heartstrings. This track brings back those feelings from an unfulfilling love, ones that eat you up and spit you back out; selfish and unforgiving. Well, no more “candle in the wind” sings Lana. The love that’s present in ‘Yosemite’ is one strong enough to stand the test of time. “Seasons may change, but we won’t change/Isn’t it sweet how we know that already?”. I absolutely am here for this release, immersing myself in both Ms Del Rey’s immersive world but also in my own journey with love, and loss, and love again. There’s a sense of learning and depth to this piece that makes it so admirable to the listener – we can see ourselves in the lyrics and that’s exactly what makes ‘Yosemite; the work of art that it is.
On to Lana’s voice
Where Lana goes with her sound within the walls of this album is phenomenal. In fact, I’m hesitant to describe the album as having walls; this work feels limitless in its nature, reaching highs above the curve of the Earth and lows well beyond the ground.
The first track to spotlight is the intro song (and the longest song) on the album, ‘White Dress’. Wow. Adoring Lana will forever own the sound of a woman in distress without bearing any inch of that stereotypical weakness. There is strength in her cries and ‘White Dress’s unfiltered head-voice totally blows you away in its delivery. I believe this song to be an important one in her discography, as it shows how much she has grown over the years both sonically and personally.
As the album plays out, we also get to see the raw and somber abilities of her vocal range as Lana dives into tracks like ‘Breaking Up Slowly’ which plays with an interesting country-type twang and ‘Wild At Heart’ which uncovers the musicians known natural talent for a stunning melody. Whether you prefer the more traditional Lana sound or you’re welcoming these newer genre-bending tracks with open arms – there’s no denying Lana’s vocal range and tonality is one of a kind. What’s even more unique is that we rarely get an artist showing all sides of their genius on one album. She will be an icon forever.
Let’s talk production
The return of producer (and Lana’s very special friend) Jack Antonoff on this album, who also worked on the extraordinary Norman F-ing Rockwell, was a huge tip to me that we were in for another astounding treat. You know these two work magic together, Antonoff encouraging Lana to just let-out creatively, and be as vulnerable as she possibly can in her releases. He is known to assist artists in their ‘delicate delivery’ as he did with both Lorde and Taylor Swift alike on their recent albums. I also believe her creative partner on her earlier work, Rick Nowels (who wrote ‘Summertime Sadness’), wrote and produced one track on Chemtrails Over the Country Club.
The overarching production feels all-things Lana Del Rey. It’s class, and it’s modern. I feel like Lana’s works are always screaming to push the next boundary in music. I have not heard one album that does not grow sonically from the previous – a testament to both Lana and her talented producers.
Her works feel like a rather thoughtful autobiography. What a pleasure it is to know this woman, for all that she is, and all that she stands for.
You wouldn’t believe it, but Lana has just announced that yet another album is on the way following the release of this one! We hear it’s called ‘Rock Candy Sweet’. See you back here for another download?