Returning with her fifth album Lust For Life, Lana Del Rey maintains her vintage nostalgia sound, while mixing it with a modern twist.
Her radio-filtered vocals are instantly recognisable on opener Love, while the instrumental is ambient and minimal, adding a dreamy vibe to her melancholic chorus, “To be young, and in love”.
In standard Del Rey fashion, atmosphere is central to the record. The spoken word account of the title track adds colour, as does 13 Beaches, which recalls her breakout hit Video Games, but with booming, distant electronic drums. White Mustang and Coachella – Woodstock On My Mind, too, feel sonically similar to her Born To Die era.
Del Rey ventures into darker territory in Summer Bummer and In My Feelings, incorporating elements of trap, as well as more haunting vocals. These prove to be highlights, but Groupie Love doesn’t quite match up, despite having a similar aesthetic.
Acoustic guitars feature in the Chelsea Wolfe-esque Cherry and the politically charged God Bless America, before the piano ballads of Beautiful People Beautiful Problems and Change bring the album to a close.
Vocally, Del Rey is as rose-tinted and ambiguous as ever with lyrics like “Girls don’t forget your curls, and all your corsets”, and “Cherries and wine, rosemary and thyme …” delivered in her R’n’B-influenced style.
Despite being an incredibly long record, Lust For Life shows Lana Del Rey growing into her own image, and growing in confidence too. She has become more playful and adventurous, without losing sight of her roots.
Edited by Ginny Wong