By Ally Urban and Amanda Brocki
Dedicated fans of Lana Del Rey know that the queen of the sultry pop music scene has a knack for creating cinematic quality musical masterpieces. “Chemtrails Over the Country Club,” Del Rey’s seventh studio album, is no exception, though it’s quite the deviation from her “Born to Die” and “Ultraviolence” days. It can’t even be compared to its most recent predecessor, “Norman Fucking Rockwell!”
Initially, one may think that the music sounds far tamer than previously released material. However, the musical, lyrical, and thematic evolution we’ve seen since Del Rey’s debut album is simply incredible. While some artists get stuck in creative ruts, unable to successfully delve into new sounds and directions, Del Rey does it with ease.
Based off of the singles “Let Me Love You Like A Woman” and “Chemtrails Over the Country Club,” fans knew that they were getting something totally different than anything she’s ever released. The instrumentation features a lot of acoustic guitar and piano and sounds dreamier, simpler and more stripped, giving the album a calmer and more mellow quality. Combine this with her ethereal vocals and carefully crafted lyrics and you have a recipe for a heartfelt yet mysterious album.
“There’s so much lyrical and instrumental buildup in the songs and a lot of beautiful harmonizations” said Amanda Brocki, an avid fan of Del Rey’s music. “The transitions are also very smooth, and the timing, structure and humming sound very good.”
The words that immediately come to mind when describing the album are cozy, delicate, mature and dreamy. Songs like “Let Me Love You Like A Woman,” “Wild at Heart” and “For Free” sound particularly soothing and balladesque. Del Rey doesn’t just lull us into a state of blissful calm though, because “Chemtrails over the Country Club” and “Dark But Just A Game” give off captivatingly mysterious vibes and sound like they came straight off of “Ultraviolence.”
“Yosemite” and “Breaking Up Slowly” are more mellow, lyrically darker and rather nostalgic tracks. This just goes to show that “Chemtrails Over the Country Club” is an incredibly diverse album that showcases Del Rey’s musical and thematic evolution.
“It’s so unique and calming, but the songs also make me want to run or drive in the car with the windows rolled down”.
Del Rey once again brought in a few guest vocalists, with Nikki Lane singing on “Breaking Up Slowly” and Zella Day and Weyes Blood singing on for “For Free.”
Since Del Rey has made references across multiple songs in the past, it seems like the conclusion of “Wild At Heart” might be related to “How to Disappear” from “Normal Fucking Rockwell!” given that the two tracks sound fairly alike.
Ultimately, “Chemtrails Over the Country Club” is an enchanting and impeccably produced album, thanks to Jack Antonoff. Del Rey continues to weave in elements of nostalgia into her music in the most unique ways, and her talent is unquestionable.
Best tracks: “White Dress,” Dark But Just A Game,” “Chemtrails Over the Country Club” and “Let Me Love You Like A Woman”