Recording information: Electric Lady Studios, New York, NY; Hampstead Studios, London; Record Plant, LA; Sole Studios, London; Strongroom, London; The Farm Studios, New York; The Green Building, LA.
Photographers: Chuck Grant; Neil Krug.
Lana Del Rey knows perfectly well her Lust for Life sounds sleepy in comparison to Iggy Pop's full-blooded roar, but that doesn't mean the title of her fourth album is ironic. Compared to her previous albums, especially its somnolent 2015 predecessor, Honeymoon, Lust for Life is positively ebullient in tone, if not in tempo. Lana Del Rey may sing about a "Summer Bummer" but the song isn't in sway to a narcotic undertow; it simmers, offering a cool bit of seduction for muggy August nights. LDR retains this delicate balance throughout the lengthy Lust for Life (at 71 minutes, this is an album as playlist, designed to be looped over and over as mood music), never quite succumbing to either despair or ecstasy but rather finding a place where there's no separation between the two emotions. That said, Lana Del Rey does lean toward pleasure on Lust for Life, luxuriating in her slow rhythms and shimmering surfaces. What once seemed icy -- the glassy gloss, the sighing melodies, her persistent murmur -- now exudes warmth, where even the Weeknd's spectral falsetto on the title track feels alluring. LDR manages to sustain this mood over the course of 16 songs, every one of which is a gentle variation of her supple signature. Sometimes, the tracks are graced by a guest -- in addition to the Weeknd, A$AP Rocky shows up on two songs, Sean Ono Lennon on another, while Stevie Nicks stops by for "Beautiful People Beautiful Problems" -- but usually what sticks is an escalating chorus or a hook that echoes in the distance. If Lust for Life starts to slow down toward its conclusion -- "Tomorrow Never Came" seems like the logical conclusion, but there's a three-track coda afterward -- it nevertheless delivers upon its promise of a sunnier Lana Del Rey, and the very fact that she can find so many textures in a deliberately limited palette is impressive. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Rolling Stone - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Her fourth album as Lana Del Rey luxuriates in warm textures and laconic tempos that recall pre-rock-era pop, her voice given Rick Nelson levels of reverb that adds ruminative weight to even her most basic observations."
Spin - "LUST FOR LIFE is a spectacular 72 minutes long. It trades in the same intently, atmospherically narcotic sound Del Rey and primary producer Rick Nowels have favored since the beginning."
NME (Magazine) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "A post-modernist playground, the iconic pop cultural references run wild throughout. `Cherry' knowingly quotes Patsy Cline's 1961 country standard `I Fall To Pieces'..."
Paste (magazine) - "Accompanied by what sounds like an orchestra played entirely by ghosts, her use of electronic trappings never feel overwhelming or fake. Instead, their sparse beauty elevates her haunting vocals."