Lana Del Rey - Chemtrails Over the Country Club
Mar 19, 2021 (updated Mar 19, 2021)
46
Lana Del Rey’s music has always felt rather monotonous to me. Albums such as Ultraviolence and Lust For Love felt tedious to get through, insipidly written, filled with unimpressive and stiff singing, superficial, and, worst of all, boring from nearly front to back. She is decent at creating a dense atmosphere, but there is not much more of interest going on below the surface layer. However, even as a routine Lana Del Rey hater, I had to admit that Normal Fucking Rockwell was a major step-up from her previous material. Even if I don’t think it’s an amazing record by any means, still plagued by the superficial stiffness that eternalized her other works and many songs ending somewhat abruptly, Norman Fucking Rockwell was Lana’s opus at the time; the record had marginally improved songwriting in comparison to its predecessor and was the album that captured her engrossing atmosphere the most for me as she embraced a more folky sound. My greatest hope going forward was that Lana would only progress as an artist and improves on the shortcomings of Norman Fucking Rockwell, but sadly, Chemtrails Over The Country Club, despite continuing in that folkier direction, feels just as lifeless as her earliest albums.

The shtick of atmospheric, mellow, and spacey folk songs that Lana established with a few key tracks off of Norman Fucking Rockwell isn’t really improved on Chemtrails Over the Country Club. On the contrary, Chemtrails feels like a regression of many things Norman Fucking Rockwell was doing so well. Chemtrails is much more spectral than its predecessor and, as a result, feels far too barren and restrained for its own good. Many tendencies pop up on Chemtrails that I felt as if Lana seemed to rid herself of on Norman Fucking Rockwell. Sometimes, the songs suffer from buildups that end up feeling like they fizzle into nothingness, other times, melodies lack any bit of disposition. Worst of all, however, has to be the album’s colorless feel. It’s boring and rather mundane for most of its runtime and, in a word, feels consistently boring.

In terms of songwriting, Chemtrails, more often than not, feels like Lana’s most intimate record yet, like an open book straight from the heart. Her songwriting has clearly improved since the days of Born To Die. This feeling of intimacy is only complimented by Lana’s hushed demeanor and faint, frail singing voice that sounds as if Lana is whispering her secrets directly into your ear. As much as I admire this quality about Chemtrails, the album still feels just about as dull and hard to sit through, primarily because of how sonically mundane it is, as her early works are to me.

Chemtrails is at an odd place honestly. It's far too bare to be interesting through and through yet feels like Lana overdoes her intended sound. There's a special beauty in minimalism, and Lana doesn't fully grasp that minimalistic magic I ever so desire from this album. It feels stripped of the organicness that seems to be a prevailing theme all my favorite folk albums seem to have. In albums like those, you can feel every ounce of emotion that strums the acoustic guitar; the crowd chirping away in the background; the passion of their words flowing through their silky smooth voices, but Chemtrails feels... well, manufactured to some extent. Lana seems lost as for which direction she wants to go in; melodramatic art-pop and barebones folk, and Chemtrails ends up in an awkward middle ground. Truthfully, if I had to give Lana any advice as to what I would want to from a future Lana Del Rey folk project, it would be to go all in; a more organic folk album that uses minimalism to its advantage rather than to its detriment, has slightly fewer reverby instruments infesting the mix (TALKING ABOUT THAT HEARTBEAT PERCUSSION), and had more expressive vocals. I doubt Lana will ever do this and, until then, her music will forever be hindered by this lack of organicness. If you enjoy this record, then go ahead and enjoy it, but for me, this album just doesn’t really cut it, and that’s a real shame.

Decent 4/10
Favorite Track: White Dress, Wild at Heart, Breaking Up Slowly
Worst Track: Yosemite
32 Comments
Mar 19, 2021
Damn, I actually really liked "Yosemite."
Mar 19, 2021
@AnthroWobbly I found it to be a bit too sleepy, but good on you for liking it!
Mar 19, 2021
lol whatever CHODE!
Mar 19, 2021
it’s better to stop posting your tasteless, fallacy critics here. enough already. periodt.
Mar 19, 2021
lol whatever CHODE! (2)
Mar 19, 2021
PERIODT
Mar 19, 2021
Getting extremely mad online about the negative review of an album I have as my pfp. PeRiOdT.
Mar 19, 2021
@Basic_Garci The Testicle Committee has been running low on supply ever since the pandemic has started, and is taking donations! The financial compensation is quite generous, so I highly recommend you donate your huge nuts.
Mar 19, 2021
I completely agree, but I wouldn't put it nearly to that score as there are some specific moments I enjoy and would go back to, great review as always!
Mar 19, 2021
How can I agree with you so much just to see in the end that one of my 3 fav songs of the album was your worst xD.
Mar 19, 2021
Vsf, não sabe nem fazer uma crítica sua puta
Mar 19, 2021
Great review! I also really dislike Lana Del Rey's music, to be honest, and this album to me just feels like the same old thing.
Mar 19, 2021
Lana seems to have began making music that amuses herself instead of making “pop” music. That’s fine, but I’m not buying another album unless she seems to want it to “sound good “ for everyone. This album has no spark. It’s mundane. It’s boring.
Mar 19, 2021
@reptilia0000 @MattsReviews Thanks!
Mar 19, 2021
@Torreth1 Agreed
Mar 19, 2021
@ecka Eh, I just find the song to be super boring and empty lmao
Mar 19, 2021
lol whatever CHODE!
Mar 19, 2021
Call me old fashioned, but we all have different opinions at the end of the day and I honestly respect the passion of this review (Regardless of what the score is). Keep it up!
Mar 19, 2021
@Edgeworth Thanks! :)
Mar 19, 2021
Hi Chode
Mar 19, 2021
I...kinda agree
Mar 20, 2021
Chode is based
Mar 20, 2021
DELETE THIS BESTIE
Mar 20, 2021
@blubabe can i suppress your opinion too bestie? 😀 😃 😄 😁 😆 🤩 😅 😂 🤣 ☺️ 😊 😇 🙂 🙃 😉 😌 😍 😘 😗 😙 😚 😋 🤪
Mar 21, 2021
chod
Mar 22, 2021
Cho
Mar 24, 2021
[hidden]
Mar 24, 2021
@TssElJohnny excuse me, that's not the real dababy
Mar 25, 2021
My nuts are fucking huge. Sometimes I get scared of the sheer velocity of them, and I don’t know what to do. (2)
Mar 25, 2021
Even though I enjoyed this album for the most of it, I had to admit that you made some great points in this review.
Mar 30, 2021
Agreed, I never really understood the hype around her music. It's so monotonous and boring
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