Lost in the chemtrails

Lana Del Rey dropped her 6th Studio Album this past March.


Neil Krug

Born To Die, Ultraviolence, Honeymoon, Lust for Life, and NFR have been notable albums in the 2010’s and an influence in media culture. Lana Del Rey has released her latest record in March, Chemtrails Over The Country Club.

Since the start of her career, Rey has experimented with sound. With the incredible hip-hop producing in Born To Die to the Rock n’ Roll blues with Ultraviolence, she has never been afraid to expand into every genre.

In her famous album NFR released in 2019, Rey focuses on the nostalgia of living in California while still staying true to her “Sad Girl” roots. Rey started to slow down her tempos with more piano and soft guitar ballads.

When she released her first single on COTCC, “Let Me Love You Like A Woman” it was unclear which genre Rey will venture into next. Even with this uncertainty, it was evident Rey was focusing on a theme of leaving LA. She sings, “I come from a small town, how about you? I only mention it ‘cause I’m ready to leave LA”.

This single was already a drastic change from some of Lana’s other work where she has her guard up and presents herself as guarded and resilient. From her song, “Money Power Glory” (Ultraviolence 2014) she sings, “I want money, power and glory” and “I’m gonna take them for all that they got”. Opposingly in “Let Me Love You Like A Woman”, she falls into her softer, motherly side as she sings, “Let me love you like a woman” and “Let me hold you like a baby”.

This single made fans anxiously awaiting the arrival of her title track. On January 11 of this year, she released the title track and a music video along with it.

This haunting yet relaxing melody contains lyrics that are very complex and literary intricate. She shares her sense of growing up as she remains optimistic with love and comes to terms with her wild self.

On March 19, she released her anticipated full album. Fans were surprised as the album is more folk with a heavy influence in country. This album is unique to Lana’s past as she adds this new genre to her discography.

My Ranking Of The COTCC Tracks:

Lana is known for keeping the listeners on their toes. With “West Coast” and “Off To The Races” Lana is always providing a switch in tune that keeps the listeners engaged. I was not sure if she would have this element in this record because it is a country-folk album. I was presently surprised when it was incorporated in this track, and the lyricism prompted me to put it as number one. She recognizes her disbelief of being friends with her idols, “I’m coverin’ Joni and I’m dancin’ with Joan” and “Stevie is callin’ on the telephone”. Then, there is a massive instrumental shift in the bridge as she enthusiastically sings, “I went town to Woodside / I left Berkley, out of city, out of mind.” This song reminds me of Woodstock and my inner 60-70’s music geek absolutely loves this track.

A common theme in Lana’s work is being wild and free. She introduces this theme primarily in her song “Ride” and continues it in “Cruel World”. Those songs have instrumentals that match the theme of being wild and free, but “Wild at Heart” takes a different approach. When the chorus hits, the beat speeds up softly while she sings, “If you love me, you’ll love me / ‘Cause I’m wild, wild at heart”. This is something I have not seen from Lana as she stays with this nurturing tone throughout the album.

Rick Nowels is the producer of this song, as it was rumored to be a contender for the Ultraviolence (2014) album. I may be biased considering I love the work he does with Lana; this song was highly anticipated. The song has a haunting tone with guitar. It is a love song I could listen to on repeat for hours.

This song is a grower. When I first heard this song, I was very caught off guard. I can confidently say that Lana has not released a song like this before. I never thought I would be belting “Down at the Men in Music Business Conference” in my highest octave. Lana sings in this high octave for the entirety of the song, in my opinion to represent her innocence at 19. She also produced a video for this song which produces an image highly appreciated.

Lana sings in a lower octave with darker instrumentals that are familiar in Lana’s music. Her chorus then drastically changes to a lighter tone then shifts back to the darker tone in the verses. Similar to “Dance Till We Die” in the shift but I personally think that this song strangely enough has a hip-hop element in it.

I like this title track for Lana and LOVE the video. But compared to her other title tracks like “NFR” and “Born To Die” it does not rank higher than those. I think the lyricism is very good but compared to her previous title tracks it is not my favorite.

This song is a pretty song. The only thing I would change is the bridge, I was hoping to have a pickup in pace for this song, but I do not dislike it.

This song featuring Weyes Blood and Zella Day. These harmonies are so beautiful. Honestly, this song feels like a warm hug. I do not dislike this song, but I think I need to be in a certain mood to listen to this song.

This song features Nikki Lane. The reason I put this song last is because when Lana collaborates with others, I like when she starts out the song. I know that may sound strange, but I just don’t prefer when the featured artists starts out the song like “For Free”.

Overall, I really love this album. As a fan, it is apparent Rey is in a better place in her life comparing to her previous albums. She exposes her vulnerability about love, freedom, friends, and family. She never fails to surprise her fans and will forever be one of the best song writers of our generation. Rey posted on her Instagram very soon after the release of COTCC that she will be releasing a record, Rock Candy Sweet in June 2021. This is rumored to be a response to the unfair treatment from the media. Keep surprising us Lana Del Rey!