New Stories

Music Review: Norman Fucking Rockwell

by Sadie Presto

Lana Del Rey is arguably one of the most prominent voices of our millennial generation. I characterize her as the type of artist that makes you want to take a late-night ride, windows down, music blaring to drown out the sobs over an ex you never had. Her low register and heady falsetto have made her one of the unique lust-filled voices that constantly make their way back to our sad playlists year after year. Over the years, Lana’s voice has waved between airy and seductive, with songs like “Cola” and “Shades of Cool”, and dark and chilling, with songs like “Dark Paradise” and “Cherry”.  

Norman Fucking Rockwell is Lana’s sixth addition to her hypnotizing alternative-indie discography that serves as Lana’s way of waking up from her fantasies and living the life of an ethereal woman, independently. The album opens with title track, “Norman fucking Rockwell”, named after classic American poet from Lana’s fantasy generation. The track sets the theme for the album with lines calling out her toxic past lover for their typical, childish, bullshit behavior. The song ends and flows next to, “Mariners Apartment Complex”, where Lana attempts to save her lover instead of herself, with lines suggesting that she can save him like a lost ship at sea. After, the mellow rock vibe of, “Venice Bitch”, takes over, where Lana realizes she needs to find herself in the world where she’s lost herself while trying to build her lover.  

The rest of the eleven beautifully crafted songs on the album intertwine with the constant push and pull of building yourself up after a toxic person in your life has locked away your worth. Lana asks herself through the album who she is without her lover, and in “Cinnamon Girl”, doubts her worth and begs her lover to love her and, “be the first who ever did”. In the finale of the album, “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have; but I have it”, Lana comes to the conclusion that it’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to not always be happy, she says with lines suggesting she is not completely happy, but not completely sad. It’s okay to be scared of being alone, she suggests with saying she has unmet monsters under her bed. But, she concludes, she has hope for herself.  

Lana Del Rey continues to be the voice of understanding and hope for our millennial generation. Norman Fucking Rockwell is a modern classic and emotional journey that we all can relate and cry to in one way or another. I cannot recommend this artwork enough.  

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