Lana Del Rey’s ‘Norman F*cking Rockwell!’ exceeds expectations

Cover of Lana Del Rey's 2019 album "Norman F*cking Rockwell!" Photo credit:
Cover of Lana Del Rey's 2019 album "Norman F*cking Rockwell!" Photo credit:

The sixth and most profound album in her career thus far, “Norman F*cking Rockwell” is Lana Del Rey’s best work to date. A psychedelic and politically driven collection of songs, NFR is filled with love ballads like “Love Song” that are so relatable, it feels like Lana is speaking for everyone currently falling deeply in love with someone and imagining a future with them and only them.

The album consists of 14 songs, six of which have been released as singles over the last year and one cover originally written and recorded by the band Sublime in the late nineties. All but one song– “Doin’ Time”– were co-produced and written with musical prodigy Jack Antonoff. Antonoff and Del Rey join forces in this soul-clenching body of music that is so beautifully crafted, it is only right to call it a work of art.

“Norman F*cking Rockwell” is an ode to the golden area of hippie glamour of the sixties and seventies. She references macabre historical events like the Manson cult murders and troubled poet Sylvia Plath in the song “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have-but I have it,” an honest portrayal of how Lana lives her life–unapologetic, truthful and one day at a time. In true Lana Del Rey fashion, it remains consistent with her California motifs and edgy poetic flow.

The 34 year old has always been open when discussing her alcoholism, using lyrics like ‘baby, remember I’m not drinking wine but that Cherry Coke you serve is fine’ in the song “Bartender,” which could also be interpreted as her humbleness and choice to remain out of the spotlight despite her growing fame.

Rather than discuss her looks or brag about her success and wealth, the New York singer tells stories of her falling in and out of love, discusses her mental health and mentions in the whopping 9 minute long “Venice B*tch” (which features one of the best instrumental solos of 2019) how she is “fresh out of f*cks to give.” In comparison to her peers, this sentiment is a breath of fresh air.

With a name as culturally nostalgic as the songs are blissfully unique, it is no wonder why critics have been raving about “Norman F*cking Rockwell” and have already declared it one of the best alternative albums of the year.