With new song, Lana Del Rey still hasn’t moved past the past

By Caroline Schaeffer, Round Table Reporter

Starting with the thrum of a deep string, surrealism bleeds from the slow crooning of Lana Del Rey’s voice in her new song, “Love”. Accompanied by album art from her bizarre music video, a portrait of Del Rey overlooks shots from the video surrounded by a sky of stars and planets. At first glance and listen, this song seems out of a dream, but it resembles more a nightmare of wannabe vintage ideas and fake gangster ideals.

Del Rey is known for being odd with an outspoken connection to witchcraft and confusingly contradictory messages. Returning from her last album, Honeymoon, a year ago, this song resembles more her second album, Ultraviolence, than her masterpiece first. With slow, deep melodies ascending into a shrill pitch, Elizabeth Grant dawns her alter ego once more and croons about true love she doesn’t know. While the song is overall favorable, the high notes can become whiny. Luckily, the majority of the song is her rambling about a whimsical past.

Del Rey often sings about nostalgia and the youthful years, and this song returns to her original idea. Reminiscing on vintage music, she paints a vivid picture of being with a high school sweetheart and wearing the oldest trends rediscovered in the modern era. She remembers dressing up for no reason other than feeling like it, and with how often Del Rey touches on these ideas, it becomes stale. It’s a recycled idea which she hasn’t matured past within her writing.

The visual aesthetic of the video is what stands out the most but not for good reason. The video begins with Del Rey singing in black and white with her band ensemble playing behind her. In a 1970’s-esque dress and white daisies in her hair, she stares seductively at the camera as colored shots of young couples adoring each other flit by. Noticeably, they’re all straight, white adults. Then comes clips of the audience wistfully watching Del Rey on the stage with the former people listening beside each other.

Then the camera zooms into Del Rey’s eye which shines with the reflection of stars as saturated tones of blue appear in her iris. Back on the audience, stars and planets appear, and the video takes a turn for the surreal.

Shots of the former couples watching space from the safety of their car floating around in the void, intertwine with more clips of the singer winking and stepping to the baseline. From then on, it’s a space exploration, but it doesn’t feel right. These mystical angles paired with the realistic passion between the lovers seems too sci-fi and misplaced for the song.

All in all, the song is good and easy to listen to, but it isn’t anything groundbreaking for the singer. She’s lost the gangster, sugar baby aspect which made her first album groundbreaking but didn’t replace it with anything worthy. As an avid fan of hers, she’s losing her edge for duller, monotone songs all sounding the same. After the blessing of her albums, Paradise and Born to Die, she’s rapidly replacing it with less than worthy music. But overall, this song is well-written and pleasing as long as the listener doesn’t delve too deep into it.