i just realised… i used to be hooking up with many guys including sexy dads like years ago.. and when i got over it, i deleted grindr… and i just noticed that the time i deleted grindr, and then a month after, Lana released “Love” and then when she revealed the album cover of Lust for Life, she was smiling.. and then she doesnt even sing about an older lover in this album or it wasnt as obvious as Born to Die and Ultraviolence. so i came to the realisation i stopped my daddy escapades the same time Lana probably did so yes, life imitates art
It makes sense that she decided to call it Love instead of Young And In Love (as people were anticipating from the songs registration title), because the song is about being in love with the world, channelling love through your passions (like art and music and your actions), and showing love (which she basically confirmed in the insta video of her singing it), rather than being in love with someone. I think it’s the perfect lead single, as she said, and set a good tone for the rest of the album, unlike High By The Beach did for Honeymoon, in terms of production. The song intro is bass strings which is simple yet effective, which can also be reminiscent of the short intro of Terrence Loves You. Musically, Love reaches both back and forward in production, as the instrumental is very reminiscent of Driving In Cars With Boys from her earlier days, especially in the chorus percussions. It definitely evolves from Honeymoon but keeps her signature cinematic energy. Her vocals are beautiful and warming to the heart. It’s exactly what she said it would be- In the same aesthetic as Honeymoon but written in a different head-space. And lyrically, it’s refreshing to hear something that can apply to us for real- myself being of the generation that is becoming the future and I know that “Love” will be a comforting anthem to all her fans no matter what they’re going through over the years to come. In the song, we also hear a sound repeated in the chorus that sounds just the sounds repeated throughout the Born To Die album- which is obviously Emile’s doing. We also heard similar on his song “Wait For Life” with Lana. It feels safe to say that Wait For Life was like the interlude between Honeymoon and the new album.
Lust for Life (ft. The Weeknd)
The motorbike revving at the beginning, plus the “doo-wup doo-wup, shoo-wup shoo-wup” is very reminiscent of the Shangri-La’s (stated as an original music influence for this album by Lana), in particular Leader of the Pack, and other pop music from the 60’s. The half-spoken half-sung lyrics of the verses give a deep sensual feel, and reminds me of Mermaid Motel from Lana’s first full length album Lizzy Grant - AKA Lana Del Ray. The verses are also sung in confidence in a lower, haunting style which suits the ‘Blade Runner’ style that she was aiming for in parts of the song. In the pre-chorus, she sings 'take off all your clothes’ but we are left to wonder if the true meaning is not sexual and rather just to be raw, real and natural, to let go and be unafraid of being 'exposed’. The chorus is sung with higher vocals which makes us feel lighter and free, like a heavenly feeling of letting go. The piano in the chorus also delivers a fairy-tale fantasy-like energy. A similar sound is heard in the bridge but a more electronic synth sound which feels dreamy and perfected.The song concludes with Abel’s voice echoing out. Abel’s vocals overall added a sweetness to the song, and you can also think of it as sending a message that your lust and passion for life is better and more joyful when shared among others.
The song begins with dramatic strings, preparing us for the overwhelming feelings Lana is to deliver in her vocals. The strings are also reminiscent of something from Born To Die or Honeymoon, which makes us become aware that this album is both an accumulation of past music production and a mix of new production in her music evolution. Muffled talking comes in over eerie piano which sounds similar to old recordings from the 60’s, or as if it is being played through an old radio. The words seem to reflect this long lost aura as you can make out the words “wrong with the world”, “separate”, etc. The verses deliver her struggles with being in public and all she has to do for her fame such as making sure she is always seen with approval. There are also background noises throughout the song sounding like a glitching radio, as if she’s struggling to transmit the message across. The pre-chorus has subtle beats that you would think of as similar to Born To Die’s production, with the underlying aura of Honeymoon’s. In the chorus, her deliverance of the vocals “that I’ve been dying” sound unlike anything we have ever heard from Lana in her (very) broad discography, which is where we identify her new vocal evolution and really begin to appreciate the sound of this era. The is also a sound in the chorus similar to a harp, that Architecture’s chorus production (see last heading at the bottom), which also makes the chorus sound more dreamy in an introspective way. In the second verse there is a noise that sounds like that of a passing train, which makes us feel like this situation just keeps passing her by, too fast to grasp it properly. In the bridge, the piano sounds similar to National Anthems bridge piano, which almost makes the song seem like the aftermath of her fame during National Anthem, as if this song is reflecting back to how much she wanted it during the Born To Die era. The song concludes very softly after her singing “the fact that I can’t deal”, which makes us feel as if the overwhelming feelings in the song can leave her very suddenly.
Her vocals begin immediately, and this with the short length of the song also make it seem like she is trying to get straight to the point- of a relationship not being good for her. The male vocal repetition is another throwback to the Born To Die ear, and also makes us feel right away that this song has been driven by a man in her life. The drums in the verses are immediately recognised as Ultraviolence-like, as well as the lyrics, giving this album an even more diverse taste which pleases all fans no matter which previous album was their favourite. The muffled “fuck” right before the chorus drops seems like a sudden curse due to her realising that she still cares about the man in question, and how this is getting to her (making her “fall to pieces”). The chorus sounds much like some songs on Ultraviolence, in particular Sad Girl, and a previous Lizzy Grant-era song Tired Of Singing The Blues. The chorus trap beats are a progression of what was introduced during the Honeymoon era as well as the low humming background synths. At the end of the chorus the muffled “are ruined” makes us think that the cursing and muffled speech are actually her angry, frustrated thoughts underneath, in contrast to the way her main vocals are delivered- serene, like she is giving into the hopelessness of her situation. The “cherries and wine, rosemary and thyme and all of my peaches” are then seen to be a representation of her sweetness, appeal and abundance, which “are ruined” by the subject man. When her curse words turn to “bitch”, we wonder if she is cursing at herself and her hopelessness, or at him, stooping to the level of calling him a term mostly associated with nasty women which would undoubtedly annoy any most males. When the chorus switches up with the words “black beaches” it makes me wonder if she uses this phrase to represent a place to hideout or an unconventional paradise (beach being the place of paradise and black being a strange colour for a beach). In the bridge, her vocals ascend much higher, as if in final plea or expression of how she feels about him, and the mixed feelings. The song concludes with her curse words, like the anger underneath coming through on top.
The piano intro puts us into a softer mood. For those familiar with the leaked outtake Architecture (see last heading), this song may seem like her own view of the events in that song. In Architecture she is talking about her ex-lover and her view of his story, while in White Mustang she is singing about her own story of events and how she feels. Even the chorus itself is reminiscent of Architecture’s chorus “you did it all for fame”, as it also rhymes, except in White Mustang it is softer, as if her own feelings are now softer and it is a much more reminiscent and softly melancholy (which also leaves me reminiscent of Ultraviolence). There are also noises in the chorus of a car speeding past to suit the White Mustang phrase. In the bridge the lyrics make it seem that she was intimidated by his energy and reputation (“you revving it up and the sound it was frightening”) which leaves me thinking that White Mustang is actually his public expression rather than an actual car- white being noble, shining, valiant and mustang being bold, sought after and highly recognised. “The day I saw your White Mustang” therefore would mean the day she saw how he acts and portrays himself to others, which happened the day his record was released. And when she sings “you’re gonna hit me like lightning” meaning that she was stunned, shocked or amazed by his change in expression. In the final chorus she also switches it up to “said you’re a white mustang” which somewhat supports it being his reputation rather than his car. The whistling in the outro gives an energy of perhaps his carelessness, and merriness, or that he is trying to get her attention. The song concludes with a car zooming past, possibly to symbolise him rushing by her, being too fast, leaving her behind.
Summer Bummer (ft. A$AP Rocky and Playboi Carti)
Haunting piano introduces the song with Lana in the first verse singing to her lover that he can do whatever he wants whether that be leaving or staying with her. In the pre-chorus her vocals become more alluring and the lyrics switch to a darker, more addictive theme and “Wrap you up in my daisy chains” is a symbol of her love, affection and spring energy. The chorus is her trying to get her lover to just play along and go with the flow, to not 'be a bummer’ and back out, to just go with it. A$AP Rocky’s verse adds her lover’s perspective where he has commitment but really wants to let go and be her lover over the summer. It adds complexity to the song, and makes it feel more like a dream and longing than a current event in real life. Lana’s siren-like background vocals are delivered as if she is trying to keep him around and draw him into her world like a fantasy. In the bridge, Lana sings of “white lines and black beaches”, which makes me believe it more that black beaches is a reference to her dark paradise, her unconventional heaven. “Baby I need this” shows that she needs to have this brief escape from life, to just give in to the paradise they can create for a while. “we travel for weeks just to escape your demons” shows that they are both just wanting to escape from their life for a bit. The trippy “high tops in the summer” part is like a throwback to High By The Beach which also fits the theme of escape. The song concludes with her siren vocals, as if heard from a distance.
Groupie Love (ft. A$AP Rocky)
The first verse conveys how she is always there in support for the 'star’ performing, instead of it being the other way around (her onstage). The background strings are reminiscent of Summertime Sadness, which also makes it sound like a summer dream, that this is the way she really wishes it was. When the music picks up, the soft beat reminds me of horse hooves 'clip clop-ing’ on pavement which gives the song a luxury feel. Introducing the pre-chorus is done with 3 guitar strings which also seems like a throwback to the Born To Die record, especially Radio’s first verse. The song also seems to have similar production to Love, and her older song Driving in Cars With Boys, giving it that timeless vintage energy. The chorus sounds very Blue Velvet (from Paradise) with strings similar to Honeymoon and vocals that remind me of the harmonising you’d hear in an ABBA song from the 70’s. This gives us a full appreciation of Lana’s diversity in music production and her vocals. The second verse builds on the support she wants to give to her star lover and that all she wants to do is be with him while he travels and performs, taking on a much more backstage behind-the-scenes role to provide that energy in the groupie atmosphere. Her background sighs and hums make the song sound even more like a fantastical dream. A$AP’s bridge gives the song his perspective on how wonderful it is to have her love and support, as if he is doing it all for her, to just enjoy performing for her. He adds warmth to the sound, but a coolness to the style. In the final chorus, their singing together shows their partnership as sweet and angelic which was a very powerful way to finish the song.
In My Feelings
The low humming synth sound in the intro and throughout the entire song reflects this darker influence on the song, and built up intensity. The verses are of self-pity with the pre-chorus conveying anger and frustration. The drop in the electro sound before the chorus reflects how she is about to start singing about how it is really affecting her - in the feelings. The male vocal sample of the chorus is similar to Cherry’s production so that we know this song has been inspired by a male figure in her life. There is very advanced production in the chorus, unlike what we have ever heard before, which goes the same for her vocals, and this is where we really see a brand new side to Lana’s music and writing. It also seems like an angrier version of Cherry in that respect. In the second verse, the ascending and descending piano make it seem like the self-pity and frustration is a cycle. The bridge has the same high vocals that we hear in the chorus, which sound very frustrated as if she wants to scream out her anger about this person. The song concludes with a crackled humming sound which gives it a feel of being unrefined, which fades out and is let go.
Coachella - Woodstock In My Mind
The intro beat is similar to In My Feeling’s beats as well as the deep synth background noise. Coachella has overall similar production to In My Feelings, but is a very evident change from the frustrated energy to the reflective aura of this song. The first verse sets the scene for the purpose of this song and the pre-chorus brings in her worries about the people, mentioning their crowns (symbol for how special each individual is? or their pride?), their wishes that they wear on display (in rose crowns on their heads) and that she is repeating a prayer which we can assume is for everything to be okay. There is also noise in the pre-chorus that sounds like the cheering of children which fits with the lyrics. The chorus sings of trading her fame and fortunate life to get a stairway to heaven, which she would climb to ask God one question (“what’s it all for, is it going to be okay?” as in the bridge/outro). In the second chorus she sings that maybe her contribution to the world could be as small as hoping her message will get across to people. Overall, the song seems to be of more detailed events, like an in-depth example of what gets her to think and reflect on the world and political issues (the tensions between North Korea and the US). The outro of the song is very swinging and catchy like a pop song of the 60’s, which makes us feel as if the song is older and reaching back to the Woodstock days. This outro fades out into the rest of the political songs on the album.
God Bless America - And All The Beautiful Women In It
The intro sounds like an old 60’s song of the country which really sets the scene for the land of America and it’s history. The song starting as acoustic really gets you to pay more attention to the opening lyrics of acceptance, and the raw, purposeful way in which she delivers her vocals. Knowing the history of this song as being written during the lead-up to the women’s marches, you immediately notice the political influence of the lyrics and how it is a song of resistance in accepting one another which is the true act of rebelling against conflict. The verse slowly builds production to the chorus in which we notice her singing in an anthem-like way. The two beats repeated during the chorus every-time after she sings “America” give the song power, marching energy and pride in the message. The second verse strengthens the message by bringing more hope and light to the song. The bridge is fast and sounds very free and 'let go’. It is also continues through the last chorus which makes it seem like there is a lot of complexity behind the events which sparked this song, and also mixes freedom with the pride. In the last lines, “all the beautiful women in it” switches to “all the beautiful people in it” to conclude that the pride and freedom should be for everyone and shared, that we should all stand together. The intro guitar comes back for the outro which solidifies the message for the entire country of America, overall making it sound very much like an anthem for women.
When The World Was At War We Kept Dancing
This song also has an acoustic intro, which gives the song an aged, vintage aura, yet the background beat is synthetic which gives it a modern touch, like a sound that could have been used in Born To Die or Honeymoon. The first verse is sung for girls and the second for boys, as if from someone who is older and already experienced war. The verses serve as advice (whether worthy or not) and make the song sound as if it is from past world wars. The pre-chorus brings in more groove and 60’s style vocals, like the song is progressing through the years and now at the hippie revolution. The chorus sings “is it the end of an era/America” “it’s only the beginning” which shows that Lana acknowledges that there is a cycle of war, uprising and political tensions which inevitably change the country in irreversible ways. She also makes us know that war gives people a reason for hope and appreciation. Vocally, like 13 Beaches, we have not heard her deliver vocals in this style before. The final chorus has much more prominent strings and background production, and she also sings “when the world was at war before, we just kept on dancing” in the lower octave this time, as if she is accepting the current war and at peace now. The outro synths also sound very modern, which fits the last lyric repeated “and we’ll do it again”, leaving us thinking about what is going to happen to the world this time around.
Beautiful People Beautiful Problems (ft. Stevie Nicks)
The piano intro, vocals and lyrics sound exactly like what we’d expect from a Stevie Nicks song, except for the fact that Lana is singing. This gives an older vintage feel to the song as if it was written in the 70’s by Stevie, and 'no wonder Lana asked her to feature on this song’. Lana sings as if from the outside, looking down onto the world, like in the Lust for Life album trailer released in March. “Till it runs red with blood” is a perspective we have never heard from Lana before which is hauntingly beautiful and almost makes you shiver. The background vocals in the pre-chorus is very reminiscent of Hoenymoon songs, particularly Terrence Loves You, and this is the first time we hear Stevie subtly in the background. When hearing the chorus, it almost sounds unreal, especially to those who have known of this songs existence for almost 2 years. “But we gotta try, lie la lie” gives a very 60’s Beatles effect or Simon & Garfunkel, and sounds somewhat like a lullaby to mankind. When the drums kick in with Stevie’s verse we can appreciate the understanding and reflective energy she brought to this song as she sings of the present and human relationship. The song includes both nature and human perspectives, all leading back to the human experience which is imperfect, but nonetheless beautiful. “We gotta walk through fire” sung by Lana gives us the realisation that it is part of the human experience to hurt. Concluding with the “yeah"s echoing out softly is a very touching ending to this song.
Tomorrow Never Came (ft. Sean Ono Lennon)
Another acoustic intro, but this time sounding much more folk-inspired, which is something Lana has never delved into this much before, also giving it energy of The Beatles, which we can assume was done on purpose. The first verse is sung by Lana, happily and peacefully about her love. The "why why why why why why” repeated strengthens the folk feel. The pre-chorus is also very 60’s, with that reflection and freedom aura, singing of paradise. The chorus is yet another vocal deliverance we have never heard from Lana in terms of singing style, and it almost seems as if this is an old song that Lana is only covering. This adds to the underlying surrealness of 'she really went there and she really has delivered’. The chorus lyrics set a movie-like scene and leaves you wondering why tomorrow never came. Sean’s verse immediately adds something special to the song and again, it is no wonder why he was thought of to feature. He sings of another perspective, adding to the longing for paradise with each other. In the second chorus, the harmony of their vocals together is nothing less than spectacular and angelic to the ears. The bridge is singinf of past days, reminiscing of what they had, and leads you to think that the reason tomorrow never came was external circumstances, and that it was not their love that failed. The final chorus switches up the lyrics to conclude the song, leaving us feeling both sad and peaceful at once. It also concludes in the same style that many songs did in the 60’s.
The intro is very subtle background music which is reminiscent of Swan Song’s ethereal intro from Honeymoon, although the sound itself is something new. You may also notice that the timing suites White Mustang from earlier on the record, which is a common occurrence in Lana’s discography. The pre-chorus is singing of how life affected her and what really touched her most- notably music. The “grabbed me by the ribbons in my hair” could be symbolism of life getting her to loosen up and stop being so 'dressed up’. This is also a little throwback to This Is What Makes Us Girls on Born To Die. “Ultrasoftly” leaves us wondering about how this relates to Ultraviolence, and when we hear “like the heavy metal that you hear” we wonder if she is under-exaggerating how life affected her. The chorus vocals are of pure bliss, even more blissful than Honeymoon. The lyrics “dreaming about heroin” could be a reference to dreaming of that high feeling from drugs, and how she had to part with a lover from the past. The second verse is sung of the present and how events have affected her current lifestyle. Hear we notice that one particular sound is similar to the guitar sound of Wait For Life by Emile Haynie. The vocals in the bridge pick up dramatically in desperation, then turning into something that reminds me of old Tame Impala songs, but slower like Civil Twilight’s Letters From The Sky. The background organs are also reminiscent of Tame Impala or songs from the 70’s. The “come on” is actually very reminiscent of her singing style during her Lizzy Grant era, expressing the accumulation of her music style from the past and melding it with the future. The final chorus changes up the lyrics to “taking all my medicine to take my thoughts away” which is likely another drug reference. The song concludes with hope of change which leads to the next song’s theme and title.
The piano intro makes it sound like a sonata, something similar to Beethoven or other old classical artists. The first verse is how she senses change “coming on the wings of a bomb” which is meaning that the change will hit hard and fast with destruction, coming hot and strong and intense. The pre-chorus is her admitting to wondering why she even has to care and put so much time into preparing for it, but admits that change is powerful and that there is no stopping it. She also brings in hope of adapting to it and becoming better from it. In the chorus, there is deeper piano which may reflect the deeper meaning underneath of how you must pay attention to feel part of the change. The second verse sings that the change is “coming softly on the wings of a song” which shows that Lana acknowledges different types of change, this time a softer gradual change that you can take as you wish, or that her mind keeps changing about the future. The change from the water that she sings about is of another origin (change from somewhere else) and is not a nice change as it is sour and makes her cough, yet she can’t do anything about it as it is already part of her, in her blood. The song concludes with “whenever it does we’ll be here for it” sending the message that everyone is going to have to deal with the change, no matter when or where it comes for you, it is inevitable and must be accepted.
The song starts with ethereal sounds which makes us feel lifted. The background guitar reminds me of Summertime Sadness and Religion, blending that Born To Die/Honeymoon sound again. The singing is also slightly reminiscent of Life is Beautiful which was never released or heard in full. The pre-chorus turns up the beat to a swinging of the 60’s energy with very complex lyrics we haven’t heard before such as “take the dead out of the sea and the darkness from the arts”. This may mean that she wants to remove bad thoughts and emotions (the dead) from herself (the sea) and remove the dark, negative influence from her work. She is finally becoming someone who is not living only within themselves, under the surface. In the pre-chorus she states that she is now comitted to change and her cause, that she wants to deliver an example for those who never got the example they needed. The “shoo-dup, shoo-dup” is a throwback to Lust For Life and other old pop from the 60’s. The chorus sings “sometimes I feel like I got a war in my mind” which is a reference to Ride’s chorus and a hint that she has mostly improved since those days but is still learning to overcome that mindset. She is now deciding to be central and aware. The “out of the black”/“into the blue” repeated sounds very much like vocals from her Lizzy Grant era also. In the second chorus we hear the 'clop’ of horse hooves which is a throwback to Groupie Love’s production and the theme of freedom. The song and album concludes with an ethereal instrumental reprise, leaving it as also a good ending for Lust for Life, and the feeling of moving up and out into the world.
The song known as Best American Record at the time was leaked not long after Love was (also leaked and) released. The song (although it was probably still at demo stage) sounded both modern and stripped back, reminiscent of Ultraviolence, and even some of her pre-Lana Del Rey material like 'Hanging Around’, particularly in the verses. The song is about someone she loved who essentially gave everything up for their journey to fame (which apparently never happened). It could serve as a warning to people not to get too absorbed in being famous and glorious as it ruins your relationships and takes away the essence of your soul and humanity (when you throw away originality and aim for what others will like most). It’s also somewhat of a throwback to God Knows I Tried- “I have nothing left to live for ever since I found my fame”, as if she is singing BAR from a place of “been there, done that”, and hence warning others not to go there. It is also reminiscent of her song with The Weeknd, Prisoner- “I think I’ve been in Hollywood for too long, cause I can feel my soul burning, feel it burning slow”. As later discovered in the Elle magazine interview in early May, this song is about a past relationship where Lana dated a lead singer who was selfish in the relationship and was never on the same commitment page as her. In a July interview with Zane Lowe from Beats 1, she was asked about the song which she passed off as having been written in a different head-space which did not fit the themes she wanted in her Lust For Life album, and this to me makes a lot of sense. I am still very glad we got to hear this outtake.