Review: Lana Del Rey has 'Lust for Life' in, out of fishbowl

This cover image released by Interscope Records shows 'Lust for Life,' the latest release by Lana del Rey. (Interscope Records via AP)
This cover image released by Interscope Records shows "Lust for Life," the latest release by Lana del Rey. (Interscope Records via AP)

Lana Del Rey, "Lust for Life" (Interscope)

Lana Del Rey stays in character on "Lust for Life," her fourth and lengthy album, expanding her takes on personal obsessions inside her fishbowl with observations about living in America.

A youthful lady of perpetual sadness, Del Rey still sounds like a torch singer but this time she also reflects on the flames in the world around her.

The 16-song album opens with the magnificent "Love," capturing the natural ecstasy of "to be young and in love." On the title track, the Weeknd helps her spell out exactly what it's about.

The cinematic "13 Beaches" addresses the challenges of intimacy during life in the spotlight, while the second half of the record begins with three tunes — "Coachella — Woodstock In My Mind," ''God Bless America — And the Beautiful Women In It" and "When the World Was At War We Kept Dancing" — which leave the fishbowl behind.

Stevie Nicks is a version of Del Rey further up the road on "Beautiful People Beautiful Problems," while Sean Ono Lennon has never sounded more like his father than on "Tomorrow Never Came," which also tips its hat to George Harrison, Bob Dylan and Elton John.

Surprisingly, Radiohead aren't credited on closer "Get Free," which draws very much from "Creep" while expressing Del Rey's "modern manifesto" — "Finally, I'm crossing the threshold/From the ordinary world/To the reveal of my heart."

There's plenty to absorb and few missteps on "Lust for Life," a long, meticulous trip with rewards at every stop.

 

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