Lana Del Rey has emerged from her long awaited hibernation on Aug. 30, with a 14-song with an album appropriately named “Norman Fucking Rockwell!.” Del Rey, born Elizabeth Grant, is a mainstream, Hollywood-esque artist who happened to make it big off her self-produced music video “Video Games” and self-written songs. Following the release of her second studio album “Born to Die” in 2012, Del Rey has been a relevant artist in the forefront of the music world.
Haunting ballads derived from real-life experiences and mostly tragic stories have enchanted listeners for years, and Del Rey didn’t fail to live up to previous works with her newest album. In it, she creates dreamy odes to the idealized American life which has become scattered and shattered over the decades as the country has experienced unforeseen changes and shifts in culture.
On a macro level, Del Rey’s album captures the uneasiness felt in America today, a feeling of being stuck between nostalgia and innocence lost.
It captures a wide array of emotions which come the range of life from youth to life as a 34-year-old woman. Del Rey masters her classic angelic attitude and bad girl persona in songs like “Mariner’s Apartment Complex” and “Cinnamon Girl.” She sings about past lovers in melancholic songs like “Love song” and “Happiness is a butterfly.” In contrast to her typical slow songs, she increased the tempo in popular, radio-friendly songs such as “Doin’ Time.”
Del Rey‘s album has a bittersweet ending with the song “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have — and I have it,” with lyrics such as, “A modern day woman with a weak constitution” and “Cause I've got monsters still under my bed that I could never fight off.” Although Del Rey is almost halfway through her 30s and certainly no longer a child, it’s clear she is still dealing with certain monsters which go far beyond the boogeyman.
The agony portrayed Del Rey’s anthems are abstract compared to modern music. Her popularity stems from her ability to stay close to the hearts of many through her expression of real life in words. This album is a tell-all look into both the agony and beauty of Del Rey’s experiences as a woman, and is relatable to all who listen.