By Jessica Jones | Photography Fair Use
Lust for Life is the newest studio album from solo artist Lana Del Rey. The album is full of her signature baroque pop style of melodic vocals with classical elements, but also has contemporary additives such as rap and electronic beats mixed into collaborations with other artists. Every piece of music flows into the next with elegance that is true Del Rey style.
“Look at you kids with your vintage music, comin’ through satellites while cruisin’” is the first line of the album and sets the stage for Del Rey’s new point of view. In past records she has put herself as the protagonist, however in Lust for Life, she remarks on what is happening around her rather than what is happening to her.
Titles such as “God Bless America – And All the Beautiful Women In It” and “When the World Was at War We Kept Dancing” really let her narration of a new America shine through. The lyrics of these two songs especially reflect how she feels about the direction America is going politically and how she is piecing together how the world is progressing. She allows herself to write on politics like many other artists, but does it in such a creative way that is not overpowering and swept up like other political pieces from today.
While there is a sense of observation in her music, Del Rey doesn’t stray from her original motifs of love and Americana. Within some of her songs with these themes, she collaborates with other musicians.
Some of these collabs are very successful, such as “Tomorrow Never Came” where her voice is accompanied with Sean Lennon, but other attempts were not as cohesive. The single, “Summer Bummer” (feat. A$AP Rocky & Playboi Carti), did not live up the to the rest of the album simply because the rap wasn’t the best choice for this particular song.
Her soft flowing voice didn’t blend with A$AP Rocky and Playboi Carti as well as it could’ve. It’s not a terrible pairing, but it could’ve been done better like with “Groupie Love” (feat. A$AP Rocky) which was a more effective combination of the two styles. In “Groupie Love”, A$AP Rocky flows with Del Rey’s voice in a pleasant way that adds contrast but doesn’t veer too far from the main melody. However, the rapping in “Summer Bummer” was too much contrast and didn’t lend itself to the composition.
The final song on the Lust for Life album perfectly ends the collection of songs by stating “this is my commitment, my modern manifesto. I’m doing it for all of us, for those who never got the chance.” In a way she says she is speaking for the generation through her lyrics and it is Del Rey’s personal way of signing her album as her own masterpiece.
The collection she has put together takes people on a journey through her mind as she observes and lives; accompanied by her vocal peaks and falls makes for a pleasant and thought provoking ride through music. Being taken through her experiences brings out a sense of awakening, euphoria and melancholy all at the same time. While some her songs focus more on realization on self awareness others are much more emotional and personal. These can either bring on sadness or euphoria depending on the mood that she is able to set. Del Rey’s ability to bring forth these emotions is what adds to the brilliance of her albums, especially Lust for Life.