Lana Del Rey

– Norman Fucking Rockwell

BY ANDRÉS IBARRA
SEPTEMBER 2019

“Norman Fucking Rockwell!” Deals with familiar themes in Lana Del Rey’s discography, such as the faded Hollywood glow, the grandeur and flaws of American culture and the frustration of love.

The album’s symbolic title represents the state in which the famous “American Dream” now stands and refers to the painter and illustrator Norman Rockwell (1894 – 1978), who was famous for portraying American culture through his works.

Lana Del Rey understands the urgent need to regain the politicized nature of music and to become a means of reaction and protest that will connect tens of thousands of people.

“This is where we are at. We’re going to travel to Mars and President Trump is OK … “, the singer commented in an interview with Vanity Fair earlier this year. “For me, it’s nice to see everything a little more fun. The chaos of culture is interesting, but I hope there is room inside for some movement and excitement, “he said.

This paradoxical image dominates “Norman Fucking Rockwell!”, A canvas on which Lana Del Rey paints influenced by her love of old cinema and classical American literature.

Illustrator, photographer and painter. Customary images with touches of humor, which portrayed a time of bonanza in American society. Years in which the photographs took second place in the world media, hand creations being preferred. Extensive legacy in Saturday Evening Post, even more after illustrating classic works such as Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain or participating with brands such as McDonald’s or Coca-Cola. In his profession, the most recognized and popular in the United States. He, Norman Rockwell, is one of the main inspirations of Lana del Rey’s album.

As for technical data, the LP was produced by Jack Antonoff.  “Working with Jack [Antonoff], I was a little more relaxed because it was so funny. The song that gives the title of the album is called “Norman Fucking Rockwell”, and she talks about this guy who is a genius but she thinks it’s crap and he knows it and he won’t shut up talking about it. Very often I ended up with these creative types or whatever and, you know, they just go on and on about themselves, and I’m like, yes, yes. But it also has a bit of merit. They are very good. I like the song of the title so much that I thought, that’s fine, I definitely want the album to be called that too, ”she explained on Beats 1.

“In the song” Venice Bitch “there is a small reference to Norman Rockwell, who did not have to be there. I don’t remember if I put it there intentionally just to throw that message a little stronger. I can’t even remember what I was thinking, but I think when I wrote this song, it was a happier version of love. Something like: ‘I’m on tour, you write. We make it work. ‘ I also love references to painters because sometimes when you write you try to bring these ideas to life, I am also very visual. So yes, I don’t know. I know it’s a crazy title, but that’s just the title of the album, ”she added.

When they discover the vintage style of Lana Del Rey, mixing hip-hop references to the Hollywood Golden Age, critics and Internet users blame her first of wanting to emulate the icons of that time; to that she replied that she had never had the pretension, that she was only fascinated by the feeling of happiness which emanated from that time, and that she had only the simple ambition to be happy.

Journalists also compare her sometimes to the heroines of David Lynch’s films, which she admits to not know, before plunging into her filmography and attaching herself to it. She is described as a “Gangsta Nancy Sinatra” and describes her music as “Hollywood sad core”. To Jo Whiley, BBC radio presenter, she says, “I love the best in every genre of music.

Her main influences are Nirvana, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Antony and the Johnsons, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Jeff Buckley, Nina Simone, Eminem, Mariah Carey, Bruce Springsteen, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin, 50 Cent, Lee Hazelwood , Lesley Gore , Portishead, Julee Cruise, MC Lyte, The Black Heart Procession , Jimi Hendrix, Eagles, The Black Keys, Jim Morrison and Nancy Sinatra, (what feels in her songs as she mixes soul, rock hip hop and indie and some film personalities like James Dean, Marilyn Monroe or John Wayne, or poets like Allen Ginsberg and Walt Whitman, and some places like Marmont Castle, Coney Island, Motels and tropical places.

Thus, its sounds and visual are described by most people as eccentric, even wild. Celebrity is also for her a source of inspiration, which critics and journalists have often criticized; however, Noah Levy, senior editor of In Touch Weekly magazine, said her dedication and talent were undeniable: “I think she cares about the art she creates. I don’t think that’s all wrong.

Lana Del Rey’s voice can cover a wide range of sounds. She is described as unique, captivating and very emotive, being able to sound just in high pitch with a look very “little girl” in his tone, but also the bass for a low and jazzy sound with great ease.

//They judge me like a picture book by the colors, like they forgot to read.//

Author Andres Ibarra

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