By Trent Warner
On a fourth studio album, most artists would reinvent themselves in some small, noticeable way; reveal a new look, change up their sound, or work with a new team. With Lust for Life, Lana Del Rey is back with more of the same, though decidedly. She knows herself and for her, that’s enough.[Text Wrapping Break]Her output is constant – always pushing her exploration of the gloomy glamour of California dreaming and the dredges of American melancholia. Oddly, on the album’s cover she is sunny-eyed and smiling, with daffodils in her hair, embodying the eponymous ‘60s flower-child. In the 1967 essay, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, writer Joan Didion integrated herself within a group of San Francisco’s ‘hippies,’ (the people Lana often embodies) finding a generation lost and in search of something greater, though none could really define ‘what.’ Lana finds herself in a similar position throughout Lust for Life.
Standouts include “Summer Bummer” featuring A$AP Rocky and Playboy Carti, where Lana is at her most Lana – “wrapping you up in [her] daisy chains” atop a trap beat and her signature withdrawn coos. As an antithesis to her hip-hop lenience, she offers “Beautiful People Beautiful Problems,” featuring Stevie Nicks, which is an inspired-‘60s girl group song for two artists that could not offer better synthesis. The song is setting aside one’s own day-to-day distractions and seeing your larger connection to the world. Sadly, Lana offers no solutions, just the lamentation “We gotta try every day and night.”
Lust for Life is an album to make one feel less alone, though it doesn’t bring any strong realizations about life itself, just more questions.Interscope Records, Lana Del Rey, Lust for Life, Record Review