Lana Del Rey seemed to be considering trading her moody aesthetic for one of celebration with her latest album, Lust for Life, rather than her usual disconnect from her own hype. Del Rey’s much-anticipated album dropped July 21, and it was not a disappointment.
"Love," the first single released from the album, captures the anachronism that Del Rey chases after with some effort on this album. However, the track showcases her abilities both as a vocalist and a lyricist. It’s an airy classic that is sure to be popular among even non-fans, bringing the listener into the time warp.
The entire album is an homage to the past. Del Rey references lyrics from classics like “a change is gonna come” by Sam Cooke and “only the good die young” from Billy Joel. She takes other lines from Led Zeppelin, the Angels, Morrissey and more. Even the title track is an homage to Iggy Pop. Del Rey uses these lyrics from pop hits that are long gone — and turns them into ballads.
Del Rey is not shy with collaborations on Lust for Life. The Weeknd is featured in the title track of the song, and his voice meshes with Del Rey’s to elevate the song. A$AP Rocky and Playboi Carti rap a few verses on the tracks “Summer Bummer” and “Groupie Love.” Although their presence isn’t groundbreaking, it does add an extra element to the album. There’s a lot left to be desired from those collaborations, but the tracks featuring Stevie Nicks and Sean Ono Lennon are the true standouts on the album.
The blending of Del Rey and Nicks’ voices in “Beautiful People Beautiful Problems” is pure beauty. Nicks has always been inspiration for Del Rey, which can be heard when they sing with one another and sound so similar.
“Tomorrow Never Came,” featuring Sean Ono Lennon, is another sound altogether. It maintains Del Rey’s sound of yesteryear and fuses it with the boppy '60s vibe, which might be because Lennon is the son of Yoko Ono and the Beatles’ John Lennon. It gives a chance for fans of Del Rey, who probably were not alive in the '60s, to get a chance to hear what the past sounded like — with a modern-day spin.
Del Rey reaches a new peak with Lust for Life. Standouts like “Change,” a piano ballad, and “Heroin,” another sure-to-be cult favorite, really push this album ahead of her past releases.
“God Bless America — and All the Beautiful Women in It” is a knockout, partially for the sound but mostly for the girl-power theme throughout. It’s a track that reinforces Lust for Life as Lana Del Rey’s most positive album yet. Lust for Life contains many soon-to-be classics that her long time fans will love, but it also provides some impressive collaborations for new fans to find footing on.