Life Lessons from Lana Del Rey’s New Album
Lana Del Rey’s “Lust For Life” has been out for a hot minute, but sometimes I like to just sit and hold songs for awhile before I can decide which ones I’m taking with me with me for the long haul. Kind of like how I wander around Madewell for 45 minutes carrying ten different sweaters and pairs of pants but ultimately leave with one top that I will wear once and decide it’s not my color.
I’ll be straight-up with you: I am a music reviewer in the sense that I know what songs make me turn up the volume and I know what songs make me feel like the music industry is dying, which is to say: I am not a music reviewer at all. BUT! We have gathered here today not to review an album but to learn from Ms. Del Rey (Just Googled her real name and it’s Elizabeth Woolridge Grant wowwowwow) via the lessons she embeds into the dark and somber lyrics of her politically-aware fourth album. One of my specialties is deriving life-changing meaning from very vague sentences which my friends really appreciate when the guy they’ve gone on two dates with texts the dreaded “k.”
“Look at you kids with your vintage music
Comin’ through satellites while cruisin’
You’re part of the past, but now you’re the future
Signals crossing can get confusin’
It’s enough just to make you feel crazy, crazy, crazy”
This song alludes to how goddamn complicated it is to keep up with everything going on in the world while simultaneously being in a period of your life when you’re still trying to find yourself. At a time when truth and clarity seem as easy to locate as the sun during a solar eclipse (god, sorry, I’m writing this during ~*~solar eclipse media season~*~ and it is infiltrated my brain completely) it’s enough “just to make you feel crazy, crazy, crazy.” But the part you need to remember during this mentally trying time is that you’re never, ever alone. Ever.
SONG: White Mustang
“Caught up in my dreams and forgettin’
I’ve been actin’ like armageddon
‘Cause you held me in your arms just a little too tight
That’s what I thought
Summer’s meant for lovin’ and leavin’
I was such a fool for believin’ that you
Could change all the ways you’ve been livin’
But you just couldn’t stop”
LESSON: Don’t get all gaga-eyed for a fuck boi during the summer. If that dude is showing you glimpses of who he *really* is during Gemini, Cancer, OR Leo season, GIRL BELIEVE HIM. You are putting an Instagram filter over your fling trying to convince yourself the new edited version is REALLY what it looks like even though Zach repeatedly texts you “wyd?” at 2:05 a.m. I refuse to let you fall emotionally disheveled over said fuck boi.
SONG: Summer Bummer
“It’s never too late
To be who you wanna be
To say what you wanna say
It’s never too late
To leave if you wanna leave
Or to stay if you wanna stay
LESSON: I’m going straight literal with Summer Bummer. This sounds ridiculous but sometimes we forget that for the most part, WE are in control of our own life. We have the power to alter the course, to put out into the universe what we want to come back to us. So apply for that job, say “I love you” first (I would never, but you’re braver than me), move out of your city, don’t stay at the party a second longer than you want to, start that Tiny Letter, schedule that therapy appointment, eat six corn on the cobs, WHAT. EVER!
SONG: God Bless America
“God Bless America, and all the beautiful women in it
May they stand proud and strong like Lady Liberty shinin’ all night long”
LESSON: I literally cannot sit and here and talk about how amazing women are for too long or I will start bawling and it will consume my entire day which normally would be fine but I have a flight at three. Every. woman. I know. is so breathtakingly talented, brilliant and strong and no offense to men but you’re kind of like, ruining the world right now and also have a hard time peeing into a toilet without getting some on the seat. To all my fellow women out there: I know that right now, especially politically, it feels like we’re screaming “HELLO PLEASE CAN ANYONE HEAR ME, IT IS ME, A FELLOW HUMAN” into a very dark and empty cave but I’m holding all of your hands and I’m looking you in the eye and telling you we can do this. I love you.
SONG: Beautiful People With Beautiful Problems
“But we’re just beautiful people
With beautiful problems
Beautiful problems, God knows we’ve got them”
LESSON: Always down for a song reminding you to check your privilege. Like, yes you’re disappointed with the gel nail color you chose but Flint Michigan hasn’t had clean water for three years so like? Keep yourself in check, my loves. There is a LOT of bullshit we are constantly complaining about (for a lot of us complaining is a favorite past time) and in the grand scheme of things? None of that really matters. So hold on to the people you love, tell them you love them (like, right now, I’ll wait) and try and consistently remind yourself that the barista messing up your specific milk request in your latte is nothing more than a beautiful problem.
Liz Welle is a professional feelings feeler but gets paid to do social and digital stuff for brands in Minneapolis while occasionally food styling on the side. She lives in Uptown with her boyfriend and their thirteen plants. She is doing her best.