“Heavenly Melodies Accompanied by Thoughtful Poetry” – Album Review: Chemtrails Over The Country Club – Lana Del Rey
If you know Lana Del Rey as the patriotic princess of pop who sings her “ Summertime Sadness ” with a beehive that even Priscilla Presley would envy, then her new album “ Chemtrails Over The Country Club ” might come as a shock. Experimenting with country and a more stripped-down style, Del Rey is revealed to be even more musically diverse than previously thought – while taking his listeners on a journey through America.
At the head of a single Let me love you like a woman Lana sings softly, “I’m ready to leave LA and I want you to come” – hinting to listeners that they are about to leave the Southern California setting of her previous album “Norman F ***** * Rockwell! ” and travel east. Venice and Laurel Canyon are traded for Louisiana and Arkansas, and West Coast rock takes on a richer folk style. Maybe Lana Del Rey – who was born as Elizabeth Woolridge Grant in Manhattan – is slowly making her way home.
With honest explorations of fame, breakups, and philosophy, Lana no longer seems to be hiding behind the heart-shaped sunglasses seen from her “ Born to Die ” and “ Honeymoon ” eras.
Throughout her career, it is not known to what extent “Lana” and how much “Elizabeth” constituted her lyricism. âChemtrails Over The Country Clubâ is possibly the most âElizabethâ album the singer has produced. With honest explorations of fame, breakups, and philosophy, Lana no longer seems to be hiding behind the heart-shaped sunglasses seen from her âBorn to Dieâ and âHoneymoonâ eras.
The album opens with a song inherently “ Elizabeth ”: White dress. This delicate piece with ethereal voices sees her remembering âsimpler timesâ. The dreamy, heavenly sounds transport listeners to her teenage years, when she was a waitress, completely unaware of the fame she would soon experience: âI felt free because I was only nineteen.
Del Rey’s high-pitched vocals match the sentiment of the lyrics
Del Rey’s high-pitched vocals match the sentiment of the lyrics, as she explores how her innocence and fragility at the time were marketed both by her work as a waitress and by the music industry. Singing on White dress seeing her embrace the vulnerability she once felt compelled to hide.
This premise is also seen on the Beatles-esque track Dark but just a game where Lana suggests that her femininity caused her grief: âI was a pretty little thing and God I loved to sing but nothing came from either but pain. The mystical, dark song also sees Lana reflecting on celebrity culture and the downsides of celebrity. Sonically, it is perhaps the strongest of the album, with a rich and slightly disturbing instrumental, reminiscent of 70s alt-rock rock.
The heart that is in Desert features the best of Lana’s vocals, which takes on a textured, raspy quality in the chorus
Sample her song from 2019 How to dosappear, Wild At Heart showcases the best of Lana’s vocals, which takes on a textured, raspy quality in the chorus. She explores the drawbacks of fame again, alluding to the late Princess Diana: “Cameras have flashes, they cause car crashes.”
Like some of his earlier discographies, like in his short film Tropico and his song ‘Ultraviolence’ Brooklyn Baby, all those wondering are not lost sees Lana glorifying a Beatnik lifestyle. The song sums up the quality of the album’s travel story, as Lana showcases a Jack Kerouac ‘On The Road’ type of lifestyle, revealing on a delicate guitar how: “Anyone wondering isn’t lost, it’s just the urge to travel. “
The title track of the album – Chemtrails on the Country Club – is in Lana’s idiosyncratic style, shallow romanticizing the America of old money “country club”: “There is nothing wrong with gazing at God, under the chemtrails above the country club.” This illustration of America is visualized in the album cover, which reproduces the styles of upper-class America from the 19th century. However, the mystical sound and reference to âchemtrailsâ give the song a darker flavor, suggesting a sense of impending doom. Presenting a picturesque view of America with subtle nuances of judgment is something Del Rey has become a master in his more recent work.
“Lust for Life” and “Norman F ****** Rockwell!” saw Lana take a more critical approach to her homeland, different from the âbe young, be dope, be proud like an Americanâ patriotism hailed on âParadiseâ. After Trump’s election victory in 2016, Lana has also decided to stop singing with an American flag., representing a change in the way she sees the United States.
Much of the album finds Lana embracing a ripe new style. Break slowly and Dance till we die both see his experience with Americana, folk and jazz. However, there are still clues of iconic “ lanarism ” dotted throughout. Tulsa Jesus Freak sees her mock her Christ-obsessed lover: “You should stay very close to Jesus, keep this bottle close at hand, my man.” These lyrics follow the same fearless style of his notorious lyrics: “If it’s a serial killer, what’s the worst that can happen to an already injured girl?”
Lana has always paid tribute to her favorite artists. ‘Chemtrails Over The Country Club’ continues this trend, referencing Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez and Stevie Nicks on Dance till we die: “I cover Joni and I dance with Joan, Stevie is calling on the phone.” The album ends with a clean cover of Mitchell’s Free with Zella Day and Weyes Blood.
‘Chemtrails Over The Country Club’ Cements Lana’s Place As An Artist She Will Be Remembered As Well As Those She Pays Tribute To
“Chemtrails Over The Country Club” cements Lana’s place as an artist who will be remembered as well as those to whom she pays homage. With 45 minutes of heavenly melodies accompanied by thoughtful poetry, this latest album marks a key moment in Lana Del Rey’s already dazzling career.
Images in the article courtesy of @Lana del Rey via instagram.com. No modification made to these images.
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