Photo credit: Lana Del Rey
Release Date: 02/14/2023
Label: Interscope (USA), Polydor (UK)
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Lana Del Rey has essentially been releasing the same song since her departure from her “Gangster Nancy Sinatra” era; and it’s authenticity and ability to feel new is quite something.
Her upcoming LP, Did you know there is a tunnel under Ocean Blvd, is set to release later this month, and the exciting; almost Gwen Stefani-esque track, A&W shines a light on she is one of the best artists of our generation. She is one of the few female celebrities who is lucky enough to be able to hop in and out of “controversies” and still have her music shine. She is not afraid to stick her foot in her mouth, like when she threatened rapper Azealia Banks with the corny (and now infamous) “I won’t not fuck you the fuck up;” But she is “smart.” She disappears at the right time and for the right amount of time and comes back with something that is beautiful enough to distract us from her cringy behavior.
She has teamed up with the main-pop girl producer, Jack Antonoff, for this strange yet wonderful 7-minute journey. Beyond learning that she hasn’t done a cartwheel since she was 9 (honestly, who has?), we get a taste of what is coming on this new record; and it sounds like a dream. A dream you kind of don’t want to wake up from, where everything is golden yet heavy and almost sad. Her coined-vocal performance is layered in a way that feels large, like we’re in a large, empty amphitheater getting an exclusive performance.
While we can’t help but think of her embarrassing behavior, the music is still something to be enjoyed and listened to. She is a true artist, from her controversies to her imprint on American culture; and that is something rare these days. To be able to release classic after classic? Every musicians dream.