Lana Del Rey: Lust For Life Review
With the release of Lana Del Rey‘s latest album Lust For Life (Polydor/Interscope), which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for the Aug. 12-dated tally with 107,000 equivalent album units according to Nielsen Music, the singer-songwriter continued her reign as dark pop purveyor, treating fans to high-profile collaborations with the Weeknd (“Lust For Life”), Sean Ono Lennon (“Tomorrow Never Came”), and Steve Nicks (“Beautiful People, Beautiful Problems”), while continuing to push the needle sonically in her winding, genre-bending discography, even making a point to acknowledge the politically f—kery that is the U.S. in 2017.
A Series of Dense Melancholic Narratives
Despite the dense narrative tropes throughout, the songwriter returns several times to one lyrical allusion – the mythical black sand beach.
From “all my black beaches are ruined” on the track “Cherry” to “White lies and black beaches / miles in between us” on “Summer Bummer,” featuring A$AP Rocky and Playboi Carti, the artist appears transfixed by the noir shorelines as a symbol for love lost. But the most explicit reference in the set? The torch song “13 Beaches.”
Yeah, that’ the most explicit reference in the set.
“It took 13 Beaches to find one empty, but finally it’s mine,” the singer coos over suspended synths, adding “It hurts to love you, but I still love you, it’s just the way I feel.”
In reality, black sand beaches derive from a number of different geological sources: from neighboring volcanoes, or the drift after powerful storms and days or weeks of high energy surf.
Fitting then that the songwriter finds herself compelled by the natural complexity these sites possess, with the dramatic, film noir-tinged seaside references rumored to be inspired by her break-up with film director/photographer Francesco Carrozzini, who helmed her “West Coast” video (filmed on Marina del Rey’s Dockweiler Beach in California back in 2014).
And after his engagement (and recent nuptials) to Anna Wintour’s daughter Bee Shaffer, it’s no wonder LDR was feeling a bit nostalgic during the album’s production.