Lana Del Rey, Norman F**king Rockwell – 17/09/19

A long-awaited album by the ‘Queen of the American Dream’ Lana Del Rey. It’s her sixth album and provides quite a different tune to her typical sound. Lana Del Rey’s album is littered with artistic references, alongside the explicit mention of Norman Rockwell in ‘Venice Bitch’, she names Sylvia Plath. Lana is infamous for referencing many different artists such a Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and The Who. Accustomed to her regular referencing, I’ve realised my fondness of the album grows the more I listen to it. However, if this album were to be your introduction to her music, I feel like you might be discouraged to delve deeper and find hits like “Ultraviolence”, “Blue Jeans” and “Video Games”.

This album definitely presents some darker emotions to listeners; perhaps it comes at an ironic time when America, and really the whole world, has entered a dark time full of anguish and conflict. To quote Lana, ‘I really do believe that words are one of the last forms of magic’. Lana seamlessly strings together complex references, clever wordplay and heartfelt emotion – her music is magic. Elizabeth Grant, I commend you. You made me want to cry the whole time I was listening to it.

The best few songs from the album are ‘Mariners Apartment Complex’ (mainly because of the Elton John reference), ‘Venice Bitch’, ‘fuck it I love you’ and ‘California’. ‘Hope is a dangerous thing for a woman to have’ is also an emotional ballad, filled with a rare bit of falsetto.

“Mariners Apartment Complex” is a ballad to listen to when you feel downhearted and in need of an emotional outlet. In reality, this sentiment can be stretched to include the whole album. Norman Fucking Rockwell! Does it rock well? I wouldn’t label it rock, or even stretch it to pop, but it has certainly rocked my emotions.


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