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Sunday, May 19, 2024

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Read: Contemplating Lana Del Ray’s Norman F..king Rockwell

There’s something alluring about Lana Del Ray – she’s beautifully modelesque and much of her music has a haunting quality to it. 

While I’ve not liked every song she’s put out, there have always been a  special few that struck me as groundbreaking and have become some of favourites ever such as Summertime Sadness, Ride, Young and Beautiful, Gods and Monsters. The reason they appeal is because they have a rawness and emotional quality that lifts them above ordinary pop songs.

Her latest album is Norman Fucking Rockwell, and I have to say, it took a little while for it to grow on me and I had to listen to it a number of times. It’s the kind of music that I’d listen to on a cold great day, or perhaps a sunny spring afternoon if I was in a contemplative mood. 

The stand out tracks are Doin Time and Mariners Apartment Complex.

Doin Time samples a lyric or two and the melody of the song ‘Summer Time.’ It’s a funky song with a laid back mellow sound that seems both retro and fresh at the same time.

Mariners Apartment Complex is a soulful songs with an emotional and beautiful beginning that builds in intensity as it runs. 

Other notable mentions include:

Norman Fucking Rockwell which is mostly a piano mixed with some nice melodies. I get the sense that this might well be Del Ray’s favourite song on the album because there is an edge to her voice as she sings – pure speculation on my part, but you never know.

California is kind of slow but has some cool orchestration. It’s a song that is best played loud. I can imagine listening to it while driving along a winding coast road. This song is perhaps the closest in style to the Lana I love.

Bartender is pretty good and Del Ray’s voice seems to quiver with a palpable heartache. I wonder if it’s autobiographical.

The other songs on the album are not bad, but they don’t quite have that uniqueness that the others have. Still, Norman Fucking Rockwell is an album worth listening to, especially on a day you’re feeling wistful.


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