Seeing Lana Del Rey’s name next to a song title so long it would put old school Fall Out Boy to shame (as well what looks like a self-shot iPhone portrait) may seem out of character, and that’s probably because that is exactly what it is.
For years the name Lana Del Rey would instantly conjure up mental images of sugar daddies, cocaine, and thick clouds of cigarette smoke – tell-tale signs of glitz and glamour.
So, seeing the glossy queen who has dressed as Jackie Kennedy and imitated Marilyn Monroe (and pulled it off perfectly) nearly bare-faced and in a shot that seems like it could have been taken for a friend, so candid and casual, is a step away from all that.
The song itself is an even bigger change. While the title, hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but i have it, is a giveaway that this track is going to be a personal one and that there is going to be a stylistic change (which we can decipher from the lack of capital letters) this knowledge probably isn’t enough to prepare you for your first listen.
From the very first few seconds it is easy to tell that the heavy, gloomy and quietly powerful voice is undeniably Lana Del Rey. But this is a new Lana Del Rey. This is Lana stripped back to the basics. Gone is the cinematic production of Born To Die and the drama of Ultraviolence, and what is left is a confessional track that is so personal, it almost feels wrong to listen to it. But at the same time, it sounds so right for Lana.
We shouldn’t be completely surprised at this change in sound. The teasing we experienced before her previous release Lust For Life showed us that the alternative queen could work a mumble rap beat and the album itself marked a step away from the character that is Lana Del Rey, and opened the door for her true self to step through.
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Two end of summer jams for ya out next week The first is called Mariners Apartment Complex
Plus, the two other tracks we have been treated to from her highly anticipated 2019 album Mariners Apartment Complex and Venice Bitch have eased us into the new era’s sound. One which seems to focus more on telling a story, vintage instrumentals, highlighting Lana’s enchanting vocals and ultimately breaking down the character that earlier releases built.
Even so, the deeply personal lyrics in hope is a dangerous thing such as “I had fifteen-year dances, Church basement romances, yeah, I’ve cried, Spilling my guts with the Bowery Bums” feel like brand new ground. While they still paint a vivid picture, something Lana has always exceeded at, this picture is one which is undeniably autobiographical.
With this track as a prelude, Norman Fucking Rockwell is set to give us an insight into the life and mind of Lana Del Rey, explore new themes – and sound incredible while it does so.
Listen to hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but i have it here:
Featured Image Credit – Neil Krug/NME