A few things before we actually start. One – it’s not really a review, but if that will make this post more googleable, I’m down. Two – this post is not based on any leaks. My limited edition red vinyl with alternative cover arrived by post today, despite Apple Music apparently delaying the album until the 21st of March.
I’ve been waiting for this album for ages. It was originally meant to be released in September last year, but since Lana still makes physical records, she wasn’t able to produce the vinyl until 16 weeks later. She did indeed promise us a cover album for Christmas, but hey-ho, I can’t be mad at my girl.
I always feel super attached to the first track off each album. I don’t know why that is. The monumental, orchestral intro on Born to Die, aggressive and vulnerable Cruel World on Ultraviolence, the title track off Honeymoon sounding like a summer of many breakups/mafia problems, Love from Lust for Life being so beautifully accessible/hopeful and, of course – the Grammy nominated Norman FUCKING Rockwell.
This time, it’s no different. White Dress absolutely stole my heart. Another opener that turned out to be my favourite track on the album. The delicate vocals, subtle piano, and of course – the subject matter. When Lana sings about her past, it’s when I connect with her music the most, because it makes me think of mine. This whole waitressing thing, music business conference, references to Kings of Leon and The White Stripes – top shelf songwriting on display here.
Tulsa Jesus Freak was originally titled White Hot Forever. I’m happy the album ended up being called Chemtrails Over The Country Club, as I think that track is stronger than Tulsa. That “We’re white hot forever” moment though!
Wild At Heart is my second favourite track at the moment. “I love you lots despite the odds”, haha. This one will have to go in history as one of the best lanaisms ever. Using the instrumental passage from How To Disappear in the chorus is a brilliant idea in my opinion. How To Disappear and Happiness is a Butterfly are the most underrated tracks of NFR, and two of my all time favourites, for sure.
To tell the absolute truth, side A of the record seems much stronger to me than side B. I love Dark But Just a Game and Breaking Up Slowly, especially the instrumentation on those track. I’m wondering if this will end up being a permanent sound for Lana, or maybe just a temporary change?
And, of course, once again Lana decided to include one of her gems from the past on the new record. This time, it’s Yosemite, a song that within Del Rey community is almost as legendary as Rebellion is for Britney Spears fans. I love the simple, acoustic arrangement and simplicity of the lyrics. “We did it for fun, we did for free, I did for you, You did it for me, we did it for the right reasons.”
Chemtrails is a valuable addition to already iconic discography. Well done, Lana.