Lana Del Rey – ‘Norman Fucking Rockwell!’ | Classic Record Review

Looking back at arguably Lana’s best ever record in NFR

Norman Fucking Rockwell. The album by Lana Del Rey, which follows Lust For Life released two years prior, seems to capture dreamy remnants of a summer shared by two lovers, was a hit when released lin 2019. 

The long awaited album emulates the California dreams and hot summer nights that Del Rey focusses most of her work on, but her sixth studio album trumps them all. 

The title of the album in itself is typical Lana Del Rey, the use of emotive language propelling fans to rave about the album before they even listen. 

The singer songwriter is notorious for using dark romantic comedy within her music, and Normal Fucking Rockwell is no exception. Del Rey cuts through the noise with lyrics like: “I’ve been tearing around in my fucking nightgown/ 24/7 Slyvia Plath” from Hope Is A Dangerous Thing For A Woman Like Me To Have, and “There’s things I wanna say to you/ but i’ll just let you live” from Cinnemon Girl, elude to Del Rey’s fantasies of love, and how futile and shattering they are. 

Standing at just over nine minutes of swirling guitar and electronic tones, Venice Bitch is the longest song on the album, and a personal favorite. Venice Bitch is a three dimensional song that takes the listener through a universe of magical guitar riffs and crashing symbols that tricks the sense into believing it is much shorter than it is. Venice Bitch feels as though 

Del Rey has wrapped three songs into one, each section offering a new take on the summer classic. She carefully gives each instrument it’s own air time, and through listening religiously, I have found something new each time I play it. 

Her songwriting on this album for me, is the best of the best, exceeding her older works like Ultraviolence and Born To Die. Poetry is entwined within the album, and her lyrics speak volumes to the lustful, and hopeful, youth. 

I would compare How To Disappear to Leonard Cohen’s Chelsea Hotel #2, and how both songs explore ideas of escapism, dreams and a past life and a past lover being just out of their grasp. 

Norman Fucking Rockwell exceeded my expectations when it was released in 2019, and it is an album I go back to time and time again, one that I can really resonate with, and one that was the soundtrack to my 2020 summer.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Words by Faye Wasilowski

Social profiles