Lana Del Rey has shared her seventh studio album, Chemtrails Over The Country Club. The record provides everything you’ve come to expect from one of Del Rey’s trademark efforts and is another love-story soaked in nostalgia, another signal that the singer-songwriter knows her sound and refuses to shift.
Chemtrails Over The Country Club doesn’t feel like a contemporary pop record and, in truth, Del Rey couldn’t be further away from artists like Billie Eilish, who experiments with the genre’s boundaries. Instead, she discovered how best to utilise her voice by standing out as a vintage symbol of what pop-music used to look like in those halcyon days she pines for.
Perhaps Del Rey deserves credit for staying true to her guns, creating music that represents who she is, staying true to her identity with admirable consistency. However, experimentation is one thing that Del Rey consistently feels reluctant to do on the record apart from the occasional moment, such as the semi-autotuned vocal on ‘Tulsa Jesus Freak’.
Lyricism has always been Del Rey’s most desirable attribute; she paints a vivid picture with words that you can smell and taste. There are a plethora of moments that litter Chemtrails Over The Country Club with vivid imagery. Take ‘Wild At Heart’, for example, where Del Rey sings: “What would you do if I told you, you make me crazy, To see your pretty pics on Sunset Boulevard?, And it makes me lazy, so I smoke cigarettes, Just to understand the smog.”
The album tales a similar story of love and loss that we’ve become accustomed to from Del Rey, and it’s arguable that nobody has mastered the art of the bittersweet ballad more than her right now. Moments of euphoria are few and far between on the record, but there’s a raw emotional exposure that seeps into every track on the intimate album that makes it another success for Del Rey.
While 2021 has thrown up more than a fair share of uncertainty in everyone’s direction, one thing that has provided a sense of familiarity is Chemtrails Over The Country Club. The record certainly isn’t breaking any new ground, or converting anyone who previously didn’t care for her records, but those who have fallen head over heels for Del Rey’s hedonistic doused sounds over the last decade will devour every last second of Chemtrails Over The Country Club.
In a world when artists feel compelled to chop and change with every record, Del Rey acts as a reminder that sometimes it’s better to be a master of one style than a jack-of-all-trades who is trying to please everyone.