The first time I heard of Lana del Rey was around 2014, sitting in my sister’s room, listening to the ethereal “Summertime Sadness,” from her first album, “Born to Die”. I’ve been infatuated with her music ever since.
Del Rey is known for pulling inspiration for her music from many sources – drugs, money, love, often emulating old Hollywood lounge singers while still making her own unique sound. Now, her sixth and newest album, “Norman F***ing Rockwell!” references the art world, Slim Aarons, and Sylvia Plath.
In this album, Lana del Rey presents more powerful than ever. In the last track, and my personal favorite, “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have but I have it,” she takes control, expressing the difficulty of maintaining hope while struggling with depression.
“Happiness is a butterfly” has a significantly different tone than many of the other songs. While most of the album shows a strong and independent side of del Rey, this song’s lyrics give off a feeling of pain and weakness.
This is especially reflected in the line “If he’s a serial killer, then what’s the worst thing that could happen to a girl who’s already hurt?”, a big shift from the laid-back confidence of songs like “California” and “The Next Best American Record”.
Each track on this album shares her enchanting voice singing dreamy lyrics of love, tragedy, and emotion. Lana manages to capture this in almost all of her music without too much repetition. The album maintains this feeling throughout every song, while still making it easy to experience every song individually.
Some of the most popular songs are “F*ck it I love you”, “Cinnamon Girl” and “Norman F***ing Rockwell”. I think that the popularity of the title track may be due to its relatability.
Many of her songs are popular because of the dreaminess shown in the lyrics, but this song had the opposite effect. Feeling like you’re settling for someone immature and not right or good for you is a common problem for many people, and it’s clearly represented in this song.
A few of the songs were released prior to the album as singles, including “Venice B*tch”, “Doin’ Time”, and “hope is a dangerous thing to have-but I have it.” These were also incredibly popular, building up excitement from fans for her new album, and some of my favorite songs on the album.
“Norman F***ing Rockwell!” has been very well-received after two years of anticipation for new music since her previous album, “Lust for Life”, with an 87 percent rating on Metacritic. It was claimed to be “Even more massive and majestic than everyone hoped it would be,” in a review by Rolling Stone.
Many say this is her best album yet, and I completely agree.
All in all, “Norman F***ing Rockwell!” was by far my favorite album to come out this year. I’ve been listening to it on repeat since it was released, and I love it more and more every time I hear it.