Imagine the last couple weeks of summer, enjoying one last wild boat ride across the sea, in the beautiful country of the USA. Then you go relax with a drink and an enchanting woman comes in to play tunes on the piano and sing songs with her lovely voice.
Yet this is no ordinary woman, this is Lana Del Rey, and she does not hold back.
“Goddamn, man-child,” is her opening line. Her first track, “Norman f******* Rockwell,” is a beautiful piano ballad that portrays a man with a paintbrush, ready to paint your heart blue. You too, will feel the heartbreak.
And by the second track, “Mariners Apartment Complex” you can already get a feel for the whole vibe of the album, classic LDR but also something completely different. Very chill and also catchy with a lot of piano and acoustic guitar.
“Venice B****” has a similar sound. It is the longest track on the album — over nine minutes long.
“**** it I love you,” is just a beautiful and absolutely cheesy song.
I really like the Sublime cover of “Doin’ Time,” how she made it a little different and made it her own. I also really enjoy the music video.
“Love song” is nice but does not necessarily stand out to me, maybe it will grow on me.
What a sweet and sugary melody “Cinnamon Girl” has — but the lyrics, not so much, very sad. One of my favorites on the album.
“How to disappear” is an interesting song. In the first verse she sings about one man, in the second another, and in the third no one in particular except for a nameless “you.” And in the end, she says she will always be there and never disappear.
“California” is about missing someone who feels they have to conceal that they are missing you back.
“The Next Best American Record” is similarly about missing someone with more of a nostalgic feel. It also has a little more rock to it.
“The greatest” continues with the theme of aching for the past — not so much a specific person but times of the past. There is also worry about having already “peaked” in life and things looking downhill from here on.
“Bartender” is a cute song but also does not necessarily stand out to me. Although I do like the t-t-t sound she makes.
“Happiness is a butterfly” is another one of my favorites on the album. I find it inspiring. I love the ending, great way to wrap up the album.
Finally, we end with “hope is a dangerous word for a woman like me to have — but I have it.” This is a wonderful song! It feels raw, vulnerable, yet also empowering. Another favorite!
NFR! covers everything from heartache and total despair, to true love and unshakable faith — all the colors of the paint palette. I like her deliberate use of upper and lower cases of the song titles. This unique album stands out on its own and each song fits together like a beautiful masterpiece. It is an album of reflection and being completely honest with oneself and one’s emotions.