Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Lana Del Rey – Love

We kick off Lfriday with Lana’s highest scoring song since her debut here in 2011…


Will Adams: There’s a slight rockist undertone to the fact that Lana Del Rey started receiving more positive critical reception once she shifted away from the manicured pop beats of the Born to Die/Paradise era toward the hazy rock of Ultraviolence onward. The praise lauded on the “new Lana” further set aside that pivotal first album as something self-conscious, desperate, and fatally saddled with extra-musical drama. Even Lana has somewhat distanced herself from the glamorous artifice, but she, like so many of us, can’t help but look back. On “Love,” the distorted vocal samples return, as do the percussive swipes and hip-hop drums, but it’s Lana’s reassuring words that mark the difference. “Don’t worry, baby,” she sings, a lyric that would have been ironic five years ago but is now heartening. Lana knows how electrifying young love can be, the kind that finds you dressing up for no reason, giving in to romanticism and optimism, no matter how present that cautionary voice in the background is. And Lana, being on the other side, doesn’t sing from a place of rue or condescension, simply an affirmation that it’s enough to feel that electricity, as few are so lucky to experience it.

Alfred Soto: The chorus hook complements her languid there-there-child vocal: she’s been young, she’s been in love; now she’s older and still getting dressed up to meet a date who may not be worth it anyway. I understand the scenario — most of us have. For once she puts the languor to successful aesthetic ends too. When she sings “Don’t worry, baby,” she has Shirley Manson in mind, not Brian Wilson. This, my friends, is progress.

Katherine St Asaph: Teenage angst has paid off well; now she’s bored and old.

Tim de Reuse: Lana applies her award-winning formula for defeatist ennui-laced Americana to the line “To be young and in love,” with the context of two paper-thin verses about how dang disorienting it is to be a kid these days when there’s all the, uh, technology and bad things happening and everything. I give her credit: it’s not a bad concept for a song, but she would’ve needed to do more than skim the first paragraph of the Wikipedia article on millennials before planning it out.

Ryo Miyauchi: It’s surreal to hear Lana say “look at you kids with your vintage music.” There’s no way she doesn’t see herself in them: like Lana herself, those kids aren’t growing up in sync to how much they’re aging. They aren’t living the present as much as they are busy admiring the dreams of a past generation. But her very existence as a nostalgic dreamer, and how far she has come playing along with that rule, is what makes the chorus so poignant. She seems tired singing that same fantasy that being young and in love is the fire to life. For some of us who have been listening to her since Born to Die, the fantasy has somewhat run flat, but it’s still all we got when we dress up to go nowhere in particular.

Claire Biddles: Time slows and slows and stops and longing and sadness wrap around you and every feeling is profound and huge and obvious and melodramatic and the films are all reruns and you’ve heard it a hundred times before but all you can do is let it hold you to its chest and breathe in long and hard and then breathe out and be held tightly by it so tight that it’s the only thing that exists, the only thing you can remember existing, and you’re in love, forever. 

Thomas Inskeep: She’s become a parody of herself, ersatz Julee Cruise for the Hot Topic set. And she knows nothing about love.

Leonel Manzanares de la Rosa: Is Lana a one-trick pony? She certainly has a knack for speaking from the intersection of desire and disillusionment, and she seems to even double down on it on this new single. “Love” brings back the Born to Die-era orchestrations, but the message and the intention are clearer now. Or maybe it’s just 2017 and I’m finally ready for it.

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