Norman Fucking Rockwell! by Lana Del Rey

Posted by Mrs Giggles on September 9, 2019 in 3 Oogies, Music Reviews, Type: Pop

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Norman Fucking Rockwell! by Lana Del Rey
Norman Fucking Rockwell! by Lana Del Rey

Polydor
Pop, 2019

Norman Fucking Rockwell! by Lana Del ReyNorman Fucking Rockwell! by Lana Del ReyNorman Fucking Rockwell! by Lana Del Rey

Norman Fucking Rockwell! is a new album by Lana Del Rey, but it may as well be a package of leftover songs from Lust for Life, or Ultraviolence, or any of her other albums, really. It’s the same formula of every song – slurring and mumbling and cooing of all kinds of words in a lethargic manner reminiscent of that spinster aunt who is always drunk by ten in the morning, telling stories of a bygone, glamorous era that nobody really believes in. Then she will raise her voice a few octaves for the chorus. Maybe once in a while Drunk Aunt Lana will spin around in that bathrobe she always wears and probably doesn’t take off at all. By eleven, she will be snoring and drooling away onto the table, her hair soaked by wine spilled from the glass she knocked over earlier, and everyone will quietly sneak away before she wakes up and subjects them to another round of her rambling.

Still, for this album, the songs feel a little more cohesive. Sure, they all sound like slight variations of every freaking song Ms Del Rey has ever done, but there are quite a bit of surprises here and there. Some key changes here and there, for example, or Ms Del Rey making “ah-ah-ah” sounds reminiscent of those new age-y tracks people play to help them fall asleep. Everything comes together to create this lovely, soporific soundtrack to slowly become inebriated to.

Okay, Doin’ Time sounds a little different from the rest of the songs here, but that’s because it is a cover version of a track by Sublime, which in turn borrows a very recognizable riff from Summertime – yes, that song from Porgy and Bess. Ms Del Rey’s trademark slurry drunk realness gives this song a heartrending kind of melancholy to every note. I will be in love and cutting poetry onto my wrists if I hadn’t already heard so many variations of this same kind of aural angst from her already.

It’s that or Cinnamon Girl as the best track in the album, in my opinion, but does it matter? I have and will come across similar-sounding songs from her.

Many of the songs tell the story of a woman being both strong and vulnerable in this big, scary world, but then again, it’s that same old story that she has done many times already. Some songs, like the title track, are about how wild she is over “man-children” that nonetheless make love to her so well that she doesn’t know how to love or hate such men. Again, same old story.

Nonetheless, this is also not a bad place to start for someone new to Lana Del Rey’s music, as in my opinion it’s a toss up between this one and Born to Die as the most cohesive representation of her music. Indeed, if this had been my first brush with her, Norman Fucking Rockwell! would likely be a four-oogie listen. Since it’s not, and I’m kind of bored of Ms Del Rey turning in the same tricks over and over, this one is merely a good kind of ho-hum.

BUY THIS ALBUM Amazon US | Amazon UK

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