Lana Del Rey
Norman F***ing Rockwell!
Lana Del Rey, is an American singer, songwriter associated with several styles such as dream pop or baroque pop, touching on rock, indie music and hip-hop. After releasing her single ‘Video Games’ in 2012, she was elevated her from a niche artist to a mainstream star. Following this moment, her throaty, seductive voice and lyrics about toxic relationships and unrequited love has won her an plethora of awards including MTV Europe Music Award for Best Alternative Singer in 2015, and a Brit Award for International Female Solo Artist 2013. Her sound has varied over the years, flitting from psychedelic and dusky tracks to light- hearted love songs while she discovers her voice through music.
‘Norman F***ing Rockwell!’ is Lana Del Rey’s fifth studio album where she contests ‘The American Dream’ in a series of songs concerning freedom and self-awareness. The title of her album ridicules Norman Rockwell for his role in illustrating idyllic depictions of the American life, acting as propaganda for The Saturday Evening Post magazine for over nearly five decades. In 2017, Del Rey refused to perform in front of the American flag ever again, as she believed it to be “Inappropriate” in a period when America is changing so dramatically.
My favourite song on the album is the title track ‘Norman F***ing Rockwell!’ which is the album’s finale. It takes the form of a 16-word poem called ‘Hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have - but I have it’. Del Rey solemnly sings about how she is the “24/7 Sylvia Plath”, a poet who suffered a life of mental torment as a result of abuse from her father and the suffocating restrictions of a woman in the 1950s. She confesses her own struggles of her past involving her years of voluntary work with the homeless and her father’s death which creates a poignant and dark tone. Del Rey finally confesses that “Hope is a dangerous thing for a woman with my past”, and while she still has “monsters still under my bed that [she] never could fight off.”, she continues to hold onto her hope.
While her songs combings humour with chilling realities, Lana Del Rey poses a strong political statement in this poetic album. Her albums are ever-evolving and continuously explore meaningful and substantial subject matter as she endures to discover herself.
Written by Millie Pick 07/09/29