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Lana Del Rey: “Norman F**king Rockwell” review – dreamy, romantic album to end the summer

Lana Del Rey: “Norman F**king Rockwell” review – dreamy, romantic album to end the summer

September 03
18:01 2019

Lana Del Rey is an indie-alternative voice for this generation.

With her nostalgia, lovesickness and cool demeanor reminiscent of mid-century subculture, she creates her own bicoastal genre that captures the romanticism and nostalgia seen throughout the American music canon.

Her music alludes to Old Hollywood, beat poetry and Americana, all of which are a recurring theme in her music, including her newest album, “Norman F**king Rockwell”.

In Lana Del Rey’s previous albums, a darker, melancholic mood that is specific to her style is hinted at in NFR with a more pop-sounding, folky tone.

Consisting mostly of singles Lana Del Rey has released throughout this year, the earliest being “Hope is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have – But I Have It” originally released in January, “Norman F**king Rockwell” continues Lana Del Rey’s own genre of melodramatic ballads.

NFR displays Lana Del Rey’s habit of creating soft melodies with edgy lyrics, with lines like, “You’re beautiful and I’m insane / We’re American-made” in “Venice B***h”, and “The poetry inside me is warm like a gun” in “Bartender”.

Rather than singing about older men, drug money, Brooklyn and heartbreak, Del Rey opts for lighter subject matter that describes her life and romances in California.

Del Rey’s summery haze in “Norman F**king Rockwell”, leaves the listener with a dream about summer love on the west coast.

“Doin’ Time,” Del Rey’s dreamy and tropical rendition of the Sublime classic that was released as a single in May, served as a prelude to summer and this sixth album. The California dreams continue in “California”, a track that will make you lovesick and nostalgic for summertime with lyrics like “’Cause this is crazy love, I’ll catch you on the flip side / If you come back to California, you should just hit me up”.

“Norman F**king Rockwell” features songs that tell a story, which are similar to some of her early tracks like “Ride” or “Off to the Races”.

Containing classic rock references in “Cinnamon Girl”, an obvious nod to Neil Young and references to John Lennon and Crosby, Stills and Nash in other tracks, echoed percussion and falsetto that we hear on her previous albums are shown again, keeping up with Lana’s typical theme of pining for emotionally unavailable men.

Lana Del Rey’s theme of dreamy nostalgia for Americana with a romantic edge is exercised throughout this album, especially in “Next Best American Record”, a title for a song that alludes to Del Rey’s momentum as an artist with a fan base that is becoming less of a cult following and more mainstream.

“Norman F**king Rockwell” does not disappoint with its pop sound and gritty lyrics – Del Rey keeps the retro spirit alive in this album as she has in every other album she releases.

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Haley McGlynn

Haley McGlynn

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