Lana del Rey shakes up her sound


In early September, Lana Del Rey released two singles, “Mariners Apartment Complex” and “Venice Bitch,” from her upcoming album “Norman Fucking Rockwell.”

The singles are soft, sad ballads that are reminiscent of Del Rey’s earlier albums “Ultraviolence” and “Honeymoon.” Del Rey’s sound, for many years, has been synonymous with her sad diva image. Her most recent album, “Lust For Life,” allowed listeners to see a more optimistic side of Del Rey as she let go of her traditional sound in favor of something more upbeat and diversified.

“Norman Fucking Rockwell” seems to be taking Del Rey back to her sad girl roots but with a harder edge. The songs are reminiscent of 1960’s surf and psychedelic rock, a genre Del Rey has never explored in depth. She is known for devoting songs or albums to specific historical genres and sounds, so it would come as no surprise if “Norman Fucking Rockwell” is Del Rey’s ode to 60’s rock, a style for which she has expressed great admiration.

“Mariners Apartment Complex” explores Del Rey’s past of coping with expectation and disappointment within her romantic relationships. The song describes the transformation from sadness to prosperity. The simple piano and acoustic guitar accompaniment make this song evocative of soft rock ballads. Del Rey’s simplified spin makes for a beautiful and haunting song that gives listeners the best of Del Rey’s signature sound.

“Venice Bitch” is one of Del Rey’s most unique tracks to date, and her longest song at over nine minutes. The song is split into three sections which deliver completely different sounds. The song starts as a slow ballad, then moves into a 90s hip-hop inspired instrumental and finally into a harsh rock finish reminiscent of the psychedelic era. The song feels eccentric, but never messy in its mixing of styles and sounds. “Venice Bitch” is Del Rey’s first experimentation with atypical song structure, and the risk paid off.

Del Rey’s fifth studio album is set to be released in early 2019.