Lana Del Rey dropped her most recent album, Chemtrails Over the Country Club, on March 19, 2021. The album, which features 11 songs, was set to be released last Sept. It follows up her critically acclaimed album, Norman F*cking Rockwell! Despite being released so near to each other and both being produced by Jack Antonoff (most recently known for working with Taylor Swift on her 2020 albums folklore and evermore), they are quite different albums. However, this is not an uncommon occurrence in Del Rey’s albums. According to the Associated Press, she “has perfected the art of creating album capsules. Each record emanates its own aesthetic with songs cross-referencing one another within the album.” The Associated Press also reports that in Chemtrails Over the Country Club, “rather than deconstructing the American myth, Del Rey shifts her gaze inward. But in the quiet, she disassembles a different pain, one felt in the unforgiving glow of the limelight.”
Del Rey has been the subject of quite a lot of controversy and backlash this past year. The conception of the controversy is argued to have begun last May when Del Rey posted to her Instagram defending her right to sing about sexuality and violence. However, while defending herself, she also discussed how she believes that she is treated differently than other female pop stars. She named several women in her post, including Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj, but most of the artists were women of color. The attempted cancellations continued to occur as she was seen wearing a mesh face mask in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic and as she insisted that she was not racist because she had rappers for boyfriends. However, Lana Del Rey remained standing and has since released her poetry book, Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass.
Going back to her most recent album, Chemtrails Over the Country Club, Del Rey sings of wanting to leave fame behind and trade it in for a simpler place. In the opening track “White Dress,” this theme is ever-present while Del Rey sings of her days pre-fame, that “I wasn’t famous, just listening to Kings of Leon.” As the album continues, the listener comes across the title track, which was released back in January of 2021. The album also features the studio release of “Breaking Up Slowly,” which, back in October, Del Rey joined Nikki Lane onstage in Austin to perform. The song, which Del Rey and Lane co-wrote, “is a devastating country-tinged ballad about a relationship that disintegrates at a glacial pace. It was also inspired by the romance between George Jones and Tammy Wynette.” The closing track is a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “For Free” and is foreshadowed by the track above it, “Dance Till We Die.”
The album is currently available digitally on platforms including Spotify and Apple Music. But, preorders are being taken at Urban Outfitters for the vinyl lovers out there who want to add Del Rey’s most recent album to their collection. If they don’t want to wait for the sage green vinyl preorder, they can get the Target exclusive red vinyl right now!