Lana Del Rey Finds Artistic Maturity in ‘Norman Fucking Rockwell’

Emily Hicks
Staff Writer

PC: Hannah Hall

As an artist, it is undeniable that Lana Del Rey is aging like a fine wine. From her early releases on ‘Lana Del Rey’ and ‘Born to Die’, Del Rey has grown as a woman tremendously and it truly shows in the evolution of her work. Gone are the days of needing a man to care for Lana, a starry-eyed damsel. ‘Norman Fucking Rockwell’ is a powerful album that encompasses Lana Del Rey’s newfound maturity and independence.

In the past, Del Rey’s music has focused primarily on the topic of love. In songs like ‘Ride’, she is whisked away by a mysterious stranger that takes her free spirited lifestyle to places she’s never been. Her track ‘Video Games’ released in 2012 was about Lana’s devotion to her man, who was frequently gone. On her new album, ‘Norman Fucking Rockwell’, Lana Del Rey has ditched the mentality memorialized in ‘Video Games’, with her growing into the independent woman she was artistically meant to be.  

The album opens with the iconic lyric, “Goddamn, man child,” which is a great summary for the entirety of the album’s mood. Rather than being fixated on a man as her solution, on ‘Norman Fucking Rockwell’, Lana becomes alarmingly aware of the toxicity of a bad relationship, which is a nuance in her work. The elegance and maturity of ‘Norman Fucking Rockwell’ is a delightful evolution of Lana Del Rey’s incredible talent.

On the track ‘Venice Bitch’, Lana proclaims she is ‘fresh out of fucks forever’, which likely resounds with many of her listeners who are tired of being in bad relationships. At one point or another, we all can relate to the tiredness and emotional strain that a dying relationship can put on one’s psyche. To be frank, the lyrics display themselves as a frustration with a lover that has come to a head—something we have all experienced at one point or another.

The ambiance of the instrumentals behind Del Rey’s mesmerizing and iconic voice are enough to make this album her best work yet. However, the highlight of ‘Norman Fucking Rockwell’ is Lana’s honesty about her negative feelings. She describes her pent up frustrations in a way that are brutally honest and relatable, executed through beautiful metaphors as well as direct statements. On the track ‘Cinnamon Girl’, she succinctly states “You make me mad, on fire again”. It simply does not get more blunt than that when it comes to expressing the way someone makes you feel.

‘Norman Fucking Rockwell’ is an album for the modern woman. Upholding patriarchal roles of emotionally supporting a man is not tolerated in this beautiful, hauntingly honest album. Lana Del Rey is far from being through with her musical career, and ‘Norman Fucking Rockwell’ shows that to be true in its efforts to rebirth Lana Del Rey as an emotionally mature and self sufficient woman.



Categories: Arts & Entertainment

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