mon 23/09/2019

CD: Lana Del Rey - Lust For Life | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Lana Del Rey - Lust For Life

CD: Lana Del Rey - Lust For Life

The queen of doomed, widescreen melancholia returns with an overdose of sultry slow-burners

She's swearier than she looks

Lana Del Rey is hard to suss. Her cinematic plasticity is part of her appeal, yet it’s also what makes her difficult to love. One thing she cannot be accused of is laziness. For a star of her stature, she’s fairly pumping out music, with this sixteen-tracker her fourth album since her 2012 breakthrough, Born to Die. Del Rey’s patented style is opiated mournfulness, a kitsch, Californian, 21st Century spin on what Portishead were doing 20 years ago. This is no bad thing. She’s a more interesting proposition than many of her peers.

Lana Del Rey’s way with words is unique. Even when it’s unclear what she’s on about, it’s never less than interesting.  “Coachella – Woodstock on My Mind”, for instance, initially appears to be a paean to hippy innocence as compared to contemporary festivals, but then its lyrics wander who knows where. Her poetic tendencies often lead to cliché – “We dance on the H of the Hollywood sign ‘til we run out of breath”! – yet even the proclamation “With dripping peaches I’m camera ready almost all the time”, from “Beaches”, cannot unseat her. Indeed, a distinct part of her appeal is a sublimated, narcotized sensuality. When she swears it’s much more richly shocking than when, say, Rihanna does.

There’s too much music on Lust for Life. Less would have been more. Her endless trip hop Mogadon vibe has palled by the time the listener reaches the hour-and-ten-minute mark. Tangents are touched on along the way, adding interest: the orchestral electro grooves of “Summer Bummer” and “Groupie Love”, the latter a twangy David Lynch-friendly epic, and both featuring A$AP Rocky, have a novel, lazy hip hop allure, while the psychedelia-lite swirl of “Tomorrow Ever Came” features Sean Ono Lennon and prods, less successfully at jangling dream-pop (The Weeknd and Stevie Nicks also appear on tracks).

There’s something weirdly addictive about Lana del Rey’s somnambulistic rambling, but she needs to push further out of her comfort zone to really move onwards. In the meantime, Lust for Life is more of what came before, but likeable in small doses.

Overleaf: Watch the video for "Lust for Life" by Lana Del Rey featuring The Weeknd

A distinct part of her appeal is a sublimated, narcotized sensuality


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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