Fordham’s own distinguished alumna Lana Del Rey has done it again.
The American icon who was most famously known for making teen girls weep in their bedrooms has successfully served up her most emotional album yet. When I picture Lana Del Rey, a glamorous heartbroken woman descending down a grand staircase somewhere in the Hollywood hills comes to mind.
Her alluring mystery, hopelessness and cascading melodies backed by dramatic orchestration are what brought Lana Del Rey to fame.
In her most recent album, “Norman F—–g Rockwell,” released on Aug. 30, Lana proves she can still be that same untouchable icon without as much despair in her love life.
Crooning open with the lyrics “God damn, man-child” in the title track “Norman F—–g Rockwell” Lana displays her sweet vocals and indie persona.
Named after the 20th century American artist, Norman Rockwell, who is best known for his painting “Rosie the Riveter” and dozens of Coca-Cola advertisements, the album explores what the American Dream has come to mean in recent years.
However, Del Rey also relies on her typical cast of figures from the last century like Neil Young. She borrows his title “Cinnamon Girl” for one song, to develop her nostalgic vibe and sense of longing for a simpler time.
In the aptly-named song, “The Greatest,” Lana’s voice pours out over a steady piano ballad. As opposed to songs on recent albums, which feature trap rhythms, and a “hip-hop affection,” Del Rey slows her tempo. Del Rey returns to the sweeping orchestration and slow pace that set apart her first album, “Born to Die,” from other modern artists.
She closes the song with the lyrics “Kanye West is blond and gone, ‘Life on Mars’ ain’t just a song.” According to a New York Times interview, the song supposedly refers to Kanye’s support for President Trump , which he exspressed a few years ago to the shock of many fans.
This is the most overtly political Lana line yet. It is her ability to depict feelings of doom, however, that really make this song a hit.
One thing that’s clear in “Norman F—–g Rockwell” is that Lana has found her voice.
The beats have a unique Lana quality, and she truly sounds deeply connected to her message with every breathy note. She reintroduces herself as a more woke version of the same unapologetic girl she presented in her debut album; it is familiar yet transformative.
Lana writes about the efforts put into this album singing, “We were so obsessed with writing the next best American record,” in the song “Next Best American Record.”
I think the devotion is clear. The album delivers the version of Lana Del Rey that fans might have hoped she would grow into.
With the killer lyrics on this album that note cultural shifts Lana Del Rey has secured her spot among the timeless musical icons she has drawn inspiration from.
Lana Del Rey popped off.
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