Lana Del Rey's new album seems like it'll be worth the wait.
Her latest releases, from the soulful "Mariner's Apartment Complex" and the spacey "Venice Bitch" to the seductive "Season of the Witch" and the tragic, timely "Looking for America," have been some of Del Rey's best work. As she's matured, so has her sonic and lyrical acuity. She's always been an expert at capturing her own moods, but now she's capturing the mood of the nation.
None of the aforementioned songs is even going to be on the upcoming fifth (sixth if you count the Paradise edition as separate from Born to Die) album, Norman F**king Rockwell, which was supposed to come out practically forever ago. Today, finally, we have the first two new songs from the album—"F**k It I Love You" and "The Greatest." Del Rey released them alongside a double video, which she teased several days ago.
The first song, "F**k It I Love You," is a classic Del Rey tune. Full of longing and ocean-side imagery, it layers gloomy electric guitar over drums and finds its star painting and surfing under artificial northern lights. Like her best work, it's part fantasy and part raw honesty, but it seems newly conscious of (or willing to reveal) its artifice.
The second, "The Greatest," is even stronger. Despite its sonic similarities to another Jack Antonoff-produced composition, Lorde's "Liability," it soon differentiates itself with heart-wrenching guitar riffs. The song's strongest moment is its last 30 seconds, when Del Rey leaves her longing for the past behind for a clear-eyed look at the present. "LA's in flames, it's getting hot," she sings. "Kanye West is blonde and gone."
It feels like the song could be about the end of the world or the end of Del Rey's career or the end of a relationship or getting older, or maybe all four. Regardless, it spins a host of pop culture references into a spellbinding final product. There's even a record player that shows Bon Iver's "22 (Over Soon)" from 22, A Million and The National's "Terrible Love," as well as Leonard Cohen's "Chelsea Hotel No. 2," David Bowie's "Life on Mars," and other songs by some of Lana's many influences.
It's apocalyptic, it's tropical, it's more ambitious than much of her earlier work, and it's going to sound incredible during her live festival shows.
In these videos, Del Rey seems to be returning to the aesthetics of her past—specifically, to the kind of world she created in her iconic "Ride" video, except this time with a nautical twist. The looming old men have returned, along with the neon bars and billiard games. But this time, the men are passive players, and Del Rey is more confident than before, dancing one on boats, surfing the waves, and sailing through her memories until she reaches the present and leans over the edge of an unknowable future.
Recently, Del Rey opened up to The Fader about her creative process. "I feel very much that writing is not my thing: I'm writing's thing. When the writing has got me, I'm on its schedule. But when it leaves me alone, I'm just at Starbucks, talking sh*t all day," she said.
Del Rey also premiered a new, steamy Billboard cover this afternoon, so fans have plenty to talk about.
Watch the brand-new videos below:
Lana Del Rey - Fuck It I Love You & The Greatest (Official Video) www.youtube.com