In Touch With Soul and A Lust For Life
Visual imagery can make for powerful, descriptive writing. Yet this figurative language is not just bound to the old tomes of literary authors. There are those serious singers and musicians that still fortunately care to use it to create a unique character which helps fans identify with their music.
This is true of Lana Del Rey’s sound. Listening to her two albums, Honeymoon and Lust for Life, back-to-back, the catalogue of music has a touch of an artist fading from the world as they get pulled into a day reverie. A beautiful soul sits in an almost empty bistro over in a corner booth with soft leather seats.
She stares vaguely at an aged photograph as some smoke tendrils escape the ash-heavy, forgotten cigarette she cradles between her peace-sign fingers and a steady thumb. This ‘image’ transports us into the carefully laden, art deco, pop-modernised 40s lounge club music.
It’s a world Lana Del Rey has created that ensnares us. It pulls our attention in close to consider the finer emotive details of the ‘song polaroid.’ Hit songs that made her a star, such as ‘Video Games’ and ‘Blue Jeans,’ did this effectively by making the dreamy nostalgic feel both cool and familiar.
She pulls this off again in her recent music, using that soft crooning and falsetto voice with mesmerizing classically rhythms to thread together awesome songs like the hit, ‘Salvatore,’ as well as ‘Honeymoon,’ ‘Terrance Loves You,’ ‘High By the Beach’ and ‘Art Deco.’ But these songs, which appeared on her 2015 album, Honeymoon, also become a product of a greater body of reflective music when compared to the 2017 release of Lust for Life.
It’s almost as if many of the albums are not meant to be perceived as separate releases, but creative ‘continuations’ that follow and grow the story of the artist. However, with this year’s album, Lana Del Rey floats back down from the more ‘lofty art’ style and, and, once her feet touched the ground, a little bit of Earth and ‘contemplative RnB soul’ seeped into her music.
Songs that really capture this tide of creative change include the title track, ‘Lust for Life,’ and lead on to ‘Groupie Love,’ as well as a range of beautifully toned songs like ‘In My Feelings,’ ‘God Bless America – And All the Beautiful Women,’ ‘Change’ and the added touch of a duet with Sean Ono Lennon on ‘Tomorrow Never Came,’ which artfully fuses in a past-meets-now Rey-Lennon sound. Lust for Life felt more like a soul-matured Lana Del Rey getting ‘in touch’ singing with the grass between her toes and the rain in her hair.