Lana Del Rey - Lust for Life
Apr 21, 2017
I enjoyed this more than I thought I would, especially since first single “Love” didn’t really do anything for me. That song felt like standard Lana-fare but with a little more sunniness injected into both the music and lyrics.

Not that “Lust For Life” is much different, but it does make one crucial adjustment. By withholding the release of warmth until the chorus, there's a feeling of suspense that leads to major payoff once she begins imploring her lover to take off their clothes. The revelation of a major-key hook is actually something Lana’s previously pulled off pretty flawlessly (“Video Games,” “Shades of Cool”), and "Lust For Life" is no exception. The chorus does wind up back in the verse's minor key, but Del Rey's vocoded repetitions of the song's title are enough to position it as an epic finish.

Her spoken word verses are fine when taken as narrations, and you could even give some credit to Del Rey for seemingly lambasting the slightly more vapid persona of songs past (the line “my boyfriend’s back and he’s cooler than ever” is delivered with a noticeable degree of sarcasm). The fan-sprung theory that the song alludes to the suicide of actress Peg Entwistle seems right up Del Rey's alley, and it's an intriguing extra layer of meaning in a lyric admittedly overloaded with clichés ("Only the good die young," "Blue skies forever," "The world is mine").

The Weeknd, also notorious for avoiding major keys like the plague, has a legitimate chemistry with Del Rey that 2015’s “Prisoner” only hinted at. His contribution to the track is a welcome presence, and the way they trade off sections of the hook creates something of a dialogue for two artists whose music is constantly begging for more than a singular perspective (Del Rey coincidentally showed up on one of Starboy’s fleeting moments of warmth – the hazy “Stargirl Interlude”).

Ultimately this still sounds like it’s going to be Ultraviolence but with more positivity, but all her past records have managed to yield at least one decent single, so from where I'm standing she's right on-track.
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