Normally if I am talking about music I’m normally talking about artists who have been around for some time and probably were really big in the 70s or the decades either side, or some new up and coming indie band no one else has heard of that fits with my easy going retro indie rock and roll life. But the woman I want to talk about today is an exception to modern music. A retro breath of fresh air with a voice like butter. Lana Del Rey.
I have been a fan of hers ever since I first heard ‘Video Games’ as part of Fearne Cotton’s record of the week way back when I was in my mid teens, sat on the floor in between my bed and bay window, laptop set on a box and forever playing my guitar. I remember having never heard anything like it before. From the opening strings, to her sultry voice and suggestive yet beautiful lyrics that made me feel sexy, without even having to drop cheap lyrics that are a bit more obvious in their agenda. She has never tried to fit in with modern music, always following her own aesthetic and I love that. My first vinyl record was her Honeymoon Album which I listened to on repeat when it was released, using it as inspiration for my writing. It was the best gift my Ben could have given to me our first proper Christmas together and I sure hope he takes the entitative to gift me the vinyl version of this album this Christmas.
So Norman F*cking Rockwell. It has only been out for a couple weeks however I have listened to the whole album at least once every single day since it was released. The lyrics and music although laidback and easy to have on as background music, really pack a punch and express so much emotion when you really take the time to sit down and listen to them. ‘F*ck it I love you’ has quickly become my favourite on the album for the way it highlights that people have flaws but loving someone so much you literally say f*uck it to them because you love them so much. Something that resonates with my own relationship completely. Her cover of Sublime’s Doin’ Time is a firm second being, in my opinion, better than the original, she just completes the song and makes it her own as well as being just a feel good summer tune.
The thing I love most about Lana are her lyrics. They are always so well thought out and always performed so romantically. Her work would fit in perfectly with that of eras gone by such as the 50s, 60s and 70s. Everything is romanticised, told as a story and does well to captures the feel of the old golden age of Hollywood. You feel every emotion which I think is so much better than that of more traditional music and artists of today. You can easily fall in love to her music as much as nurse your heartbreak with it and never have to change the song let alone the record for that matter to do so. The song California on this record is perfect for that.
As well as telling the story of a romantic love it tells of the love and hate for the place she calls home, California. It brings to light the highs and lows of living in LA as an artist where the Hollywood film industry was born as well as rock and roll. Her words are mature for her years and make a glamorous soundtrack for every day. Her work is almost like poetry put to music and no song makes me feel like that more than “Hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have”. The imagery of the lines
“I’ve been tearing around in my fucking nightgown
24/7, Sylvia Plath
Writing in blood on the walls
‘Cause the ink in my pen don’t work in my notepad”
are nothing short of pure poetry, painting a perfect picture with words whilst alluding to something more at the same time.
This album truly has become my firm favourite I have heard and I doubt there will be another over the next few months we have left of this year that will come anywhere near close to topping. Here’s to listening to it everyday for the rest of the year.