Album Review: Lana Del Rey Defines Her Artistry In ‘Norman F*****g Rockwell!’

Since the beginning of her musical career, Lana Del Rey has had a distinctive dreamy voice that set her apart from the mainstream yet resonated with her fan base and kept them wanting more. With the release of her sixth studio album, “Norman F*****g Rockwell!,” Del Rey once again delivered with her authentic melody yet exceeded expectations by bringing some psychedelic influences to the table. The album was co-produced by Del Rey herself and Jack Antonoff (lead singer of the band Bleachers and producer of Taylor Swift’s “Lover”) among others.

(Image source: Instagram: @LanaDelRey)

The 14 track record, with a running time of over an hour, remains coherent from track to track. While Del Rey’s slow tempo songs usually don’t end up on the radio as “bangers,” they remain bonafide and sincere to the heavenly nostalgic world of Lana Del Rey. This is evident in the vulnerable “F**k it I love you” track, where Del Rey’s signature style shines through and takes you back to her “Ultraviolence” days with melancholic breathy high vocals. The authenticity and originality in Del Rey’s artistry are what defines Lana and distinguishes her from other artists. 

(Image source: Instagram: @LanaDelRey)

While remaining true to her sound, Del Rey takes production and instrumentation to the next level on tracks “Venice B***h” and “Mariners Apartment Complex.” Both songs were released as teaser singles, before the album, in late 2018. The stand-out track, “Venice B***h,” experiments with psychedelic sound through the use of synthesizers, electric guitar chords, and an interlude making it a nearly 10-minute track. The overall dynamic production of the song showcases the growth from her first album, “Born to Die,” and a whole new side of Del Rey’s artistry.

(Image source: Instagram: @LanaDelRey)

The piano-driven song, “Norman F*****g Rockwell,” creates an angelic opener to the album with strings of a harp in the background. This first track creates classic Lana Del Rey vibes and can transport you driving along the beaches of California in a top-down vintage convertible with your hair flowing in the wind. The album also contains ballads, “The Greatest” and “Hope is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have – but I Have It,” rich with piano and acoustic guitar arrangments allowing Lana’s gentle yet powerful voice to take center stage.

While Del Rey’s tracks lean towards a melancholy mood, it’s quite the opposite. The character in her songs defines empowerment on her own terms. Not only is she in control, causing the infamous “man-child” to be nothing more than that, but she is also “fresh out of f***ks forever.” 

(Image source: Instagram: @billboard)

The long-awaited “Norman F*****g Rockwell” did not disappoint and since the release, Del Rey has already teased her next album. In an interview with The Times, Lana reveals she has “already written parts of...” the expected 2020 album titled “White Hot Forever.” After two years with no album, we’re given an abundance of Lana Del Rey and we’re not complaining.