Album: Chemtrails Over the Country Club
Artist: Lana Del Rey
Label: Interscope Records
Non-Airable Tracks: Dance Till We Die
Description: To listen to Lana Del Rey in earnest is to have grown up with her voice as the backtrack to your life. In her earliest album releases when young men and women of my generation had their cerebral cortex's ripe for the molding, Del Rey was there to sing sweet songs of mature themes accompanied by decadent instrumentalizations that completely captivated my age demographic. Now, with her seventh studio album fully released the same children, now young adults, that have been dedicated to this songstresses soothing sounds for years, are brought together once again to fully dissect and relate to 'Chemtrails Over the Country Club'.
If Del Rey has one evanescent quality, above all else in her record releases is consistency. Mainly telling of themes that have to do with religion, pop culture, nostalgia, fame, drugs, and the relationship dynamics of men with money; her latest album is no exception to these thematic motifs. While her vocalization on Chemtrails is much more raw and personal sounding than the heavily layered vocals of 'Ultraviolence' and 'Born to Die' there are still sprinkles of thicker melodies throughout the album, namely in tracks such as 'Tulsa Jesus Freak' and 'For Free.' The opening track 'White Dress' is the most notable vocally, in which listeners can become captivated and almost shudder at the more exposed tones and higher pitches that Del Rey comes out swinging with. The most sonically diverse track on the entire record in 'Dark But Just Like a Game.' Unlike its predecessors and descendants this track is much more Hip Hop influenced bringing in steady modern-sounding drum beats that feature rhythmic high hats giving a hint at almost a turning point in the record's overall theme.
While no track can be plucked out as the rotten apple of the bunch the crowning jewel of this overall very intuitively appealing record is the last track 'For Free.' This closing song ties up the album perfectly in being a cover track originally by Joni Mitchell and featuring two of today's most vocally diverse female artists, Zella Day and Weyes Blood. Not only do the melodies on this track ascend the listener on an ethereal journey but the talents of all three females stylistically mesh so well together on the record and in person seeing as there are many live recordings of this cover across the internet to browse from. In each singer's solo career their vintage aesthetics, subject matter, and musical stylings were the perfect storms to be brought together by a track written by one of the most coveted female singer-songwriters of all time.
Overall 'Chemtrails Over the Country Club' does follow a storybook-like unfolding telling of love between the narrator and a partner that is explorative but in the end not beneficial for either party. This record-long plotline can be best analyzed in the track 'Breaking Up Slowly' as if Del Rey is finally acknowledging the reality of the situation and how the relationship she has been describing was simply a dramatic and drawn-out breakup, destined for conflict from the start. However, all warning signs are renounced in the track 'Dance Till We Die' as a confession of her undying fixation and dedication to her partner that she simply cannot live without. With all of these well-endowed opinions that have been formulated by a brain that was subjected to the amalgamation of Del Rey's growing discography listen at your own risk, and remember that every album put out by Del Rey is sure to evolve as the listener does yet the underlying message is more or less the same.
Writer: Peyton Riegel