She’s edgy. She’s mesmerizing. She’s been defined as “simply godly” and “jesus” on Urban Dictionary.

And she’s back, this time, with a new album.

Though her first major album, Born to Die, was released in 2012, Lana Del Rey only appeared on my radar with “Young and Beautiful” in 2013 when my mom dragged me to watch The Great Gatsby with her (an unsuccessful attempt to divert me from Disney movies).

There’s something magnetic about Del Rey’s presence. Her voice is sultry, seductive,  and just the right amount of haunting. 

At age thirteen with wire–rim glasses, baby chipmunk cheeks, and bright pink braces, I was young. But I’m not quite sure anyone would describe me as beautiful (besides my parents). Yet listening to the self–styled “gangster Nick Sinatra” croon about hot summer nights in Bel–Air, I felt as though I were Daisy Buchanan, deeply unhappy about her life and naively in love with another man. Of course, I was neither of those things; the greatest lost love I had had at that point (and to this day) was the bag of KitKats my mom threw out in spring cleaning. 

That’s the power of Lana Del Rey, though: she’s entrancing. She exudes old–timey vibes, but didn’t make me feel as though I was watching an old movie. It felt as though I were right there, living in the gilded glamor of the Roaring Twenties. Because it’s always nice to playact, I fell in love with her persona and became addicted to the rest of her music. For the ensuing months, “Carmen” and “Born to Die” replayed incessantly. “Summertime Sadness” was my (and every other middle schooler’s) September anthem. 

Not coincidentally, those months were the height of my angsty–teen phase—I wanted to be Lana, and Lana radiated angst. As with all my teen idols, though, Lana faded into the background. I replaced her with the likes of Taylor Swift and Demi Lovato. As I graduated middle school, I also outgrew the artificial sensation of anguish she produced, trading it for real anguish—the uncertainty of high school.

It wasn’t until the release of “Venice Bitch” and “Mariners Apartment Complex” earlier this September hat she made her reappearance in my life. Both are forerunners of her sixth studio album Norman Fucking Rockwell, which will be released in early 2019. 



There’s something immediately different in her two newest songs: they’re softer, slower, (slightly) less angsty. Fittingly, Norman Fucking Rockwell will be more light–hearted. In an interview, Lana describes it as an album about “this guy who is such a genius artist but he thinks he’s the shit and he knows it and he like won't shut up talking about it.” Definitely a new attitude from Lana. However, a quick look at the music video to “Venice Beach,” which features blurry, off–color montages à la “Summertime Sadness,” will indicate that her persona is still very much the same. 

Despite not really knowing what either song is about, the overall cadence of Lana’s “Venice Bitch” and “Mariners Apartment Complex” would have been immediate additions to my 2013 “Favs” playlist. Five years later, though, I’ve changed, and so have my music tastes. For better or for worse, Lana hasn’t—but either way, I don’t think I’ll be listening to Norman Fucking Rockwell


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