“Summertime, and the livin’s easy” Lana Del Rey sings in one of the tracks in her latest LP and I couldn’t agree more, especially now since she dropped her album. Dubbed as the “Gangster Nancy Sinatra”, alternative queen Lana Del Rey released her heavily anticipated sixth studio album to the masses entitled ‘Norman F*cking Rockwell!’. Speaking on the rather offbeat yet sensational album title, the singer-songwriter said:
“It was weird how that actual title came to me. I was riffing over a couple of chords that Jack was playing for the title track, which ended up being called “Norman Fucking Rockwell.” It was kind of an exclamation mark: so this is the American dream, right now. This is where we’re at—Norman fucking Rockwell. We’re going to go to Mars, and Trump is president, all right. Me and Jack, we just joke around constantly about all the random headlines we might see that week, so it’s a slight cultural reference. But it’s not a cynical thing, really. To me, it’s hopeful, to see everything as a little bit funnier. The chaos of the culture is interesting, and I’m hopeful that there’s room for there to be some movement and excitement within it.”
#14 hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but i have it
To get the ball rolling, the closing track of the album, ‘hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but i have it’ comes in last on my list, as ironic as it sounds. Del Rey’s track on comparing herself to the famous poet Sylvia Plath is nowhere near awful; it is quite the contrary in fact with the most honest lyrics you ever heard the American singer deliver yet sonically it does not have a place in this album, to a certain extent.
Lyric: Hello, it’s the most famous woman you know on the iPad / Calling from beyond the grave, I just wanna say “Hi, Dad”
#13 Doin’ Time
I have three words for the next song: A Sublime cover. That should be enough to convince you to know it is going to be a certified bop. She switches up the tone of the song in comparison to the original but sticks to the original lyrics and Del Rey definitely showed up and delivered in this track.
Lyric: She spreads her lovin’ all over / And when she gets home, there’s none left for me
#12 F*ck it I love you
This might be an unpopular opinion but ‘F*ck it I love you’ unfortunately falls on the bottom half of the list, if you ask me. Nevertheless, the chorus is a definitive ear worm.
Lyric: And if I wasn’t so f*cked up, I think I’d f*ck you all the time
‘Bartender’ is one of the songs that is stripped down instrumentally but accelerates in the chorus in which she calls out to her lover whom she metaphorically refers to as a “bartender”. Oddly enough, the stuttering when she sings ‘Bartender’ works so well. That being said, you just have to hear it for yourself to understand that sentence.
Lyric: Baby remember, I’m not drinking wine / But that Cherry Coke you serve is fine
#10 Mariners Apartment Complex
Del Rey’s is famously known for her melancholic sound and this track precisely embraces the classic Lana sound yet ‘Mariners Apartment Complex’ saw a more optimistic shift in lyricism similarly to her previous album, Lust for Love.
Lyric: I’m the board, the lightning, the thunder / Kind of girl who’s gonna make you wonder / Who you are and who you’ve been
#9 Norman f*cking Rockwell
The title track is pretty self-explanatory. She explained in an interview about the background of the song, saying the track is “kind of about this guy who like, he is such a genius artist but he thinks he’s the shit and he knows it, and like he won’t shut talking about it. The narrative goes on and on.”
Lyric: Your poetry’s bad and you blame the news / But I can’t change that and I can’t change your mood
#8 Love song
This was a tough call to make to place this track relatively low but this track is an instant favourite of mine and that is the gospel truth. ‘Love song’ is an ode to Del Rey’s romantic partner. The lyrics incorporates several hallmarks of a classic Lana song, with plenty of references to fast cars, being famous, looking gorgeous, and being hopelessly in love.
Lyric: Oh, be my once in a lifetime / Lyin’ on your chest in my party dress, I’m a fuckin’ mess
#7 The greatest
On ‘The greatest’, Lana addresses her inability to move on from past relationships, places she deeply misses, the pressing issues of the contemporary world and a subtle call to Kanye West.
Lyric: L.A. is in flames, it’s getting hot / Kanye West is blond and gone / “Life on Mars” ain’t just a song
Here, Del Rey expresses regret as well as obvious intentions to reconnect with a past flame whom she shared an intricate bond with.
Lyric: And honey, you don’t ever have to act cooler than you think you should / You’re brighter than the brightest stars
#5 Venice B*tch
‘Venice B*tch’ is the second single off Lana Del Rey’s sixth studio album Norman F*cking Rockwell!. The song runs for 9 minutes 36 seconds, making it the singer’s longest so far and every minute is so worth the listen.
Lyric: 1) Fear fun, fear love /Fresh out of fucks forever & 2) If you weren’t mine, I’d be jealous of your love
#4 The Next Best American Record
On this track, Del Rey and her past lover’s infatuation with producing the “next best American record” refers to their shared passion of attaining fame and living the luxurious lifestyle. However, this comes at the expense of their relationship and romantic connection.
Lyric: It’s true, all the roads lead to you / Like the 405 I drive through / Every night and every day
#3 How to disappear
In “How to disappear” Lana describes her mixed feelings and how the guys she sees or dates seems incapable of expressing his own.
Lyric: All of the guys tell me lies but you don’t / You just crack another beer / And pretend that you’re still here
#2 Cinnamon Girl
On ‘Cinnamon Girl’, Lana alludes to her history with men whilst singing about her conflicted feelings about an unhealthy relationship and begging her lover to nurture her instead of hurting her.
Lyric: Kerosene in my hands / You make me mad, I’m fire again / All the pills that you take / Violet, blue, green, red to keep me at arm’s length don’t work
#1 Happiness is a butterfly
This track is inspired by American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, who said “Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” Here, she verbalises her fear of being hurt and the elusive concept of attaining a genuine, long-lasting happiness.
Lyric: If he’s a serial killer, then what’s the worst / That could happen to a girl who’s already hurt? / I’m already hurt / If he’s as bad as they say, then I guess I’m cursed
To say Norman F*cking Rockwell! is a masterpiece would be a complete understatement, however, the verdict is yours ultimately. Conclusively, the entire album has zero skip and a complete replay value for all of the songs. Reviews and fans are already calling it her magnum opus and I can’t help but to agree completely. Though I would say her sophomore album Born To Die and Born To Die: The Paradise Edition would absolutely be a close second, however, as of now nothing beats Norman F*cking Rockwell!