Lana Del Rey | Lust For Life

8/10 American beauty.
“You get ready you get all dressed up/to nowhere in particular…it don’t matter coz it’s enough/to be young and in love,” sighs Lana Del Rey on “Love” – the opening track from her fourth long player. It sets the tone well for what follows: more tales of sex, heartbreak, love, and the broken American dream set against the faded grandeur of 1950s Hollywood noir.
It’s only been two seemingly short years since her last outing on Honeymoon, but nonetheless Lust For Life sounds fresh and new, a sure-footed progression, delivered by an artist at the height of their powers. At times she’s still toting the femme fatale persona – fluttering her eyelashes as she pours cyanide in your vodka – but Lust For Life feels a lot more preoccupied by quixotic sentimentality than on past tracks like “Ultraviolence”. “Real love is like feeling no fear/When you’re standing in the face of danger/’Cause you just want it so much” she sings without cynicism on the slow burning “Cherry”.
Very much the solo siren on her first three LPs, it really felt like Del Rey was all alone out there, living in her own self-imagined retro bubble and making music way outside the confines of the modern music biz. Here, a number of guest stars join in (The Weeknd, Stevie Nicks, A$AP Rocky, Sean Lennon), but ultimately she’s on best form when going it alone. “In My Feelings” and “Heroin” are by far the best tracks: dark, moody but simply sublime and all the better for not being diluted by anyone else.
If there’s one bugbear it could be argued that the album’s third act drags on a song or two too long, but overall Lust For Life is another magical instalment from this captivating American songstress.
Dan Ashcroft
Like this? Try these:

Nina Simone I Put a Spell on You
Benchmark album from volatile 60s jazz chanteuse.

Bat For Lashes The Haunted Man
Kate Bush protégé delivers haunting dream pop.

Phantogram Eyelid Movies
Lush indie-pop by Saratoga Springs girl/boy duo.

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