Lana Del Rey: Chemtrails Over the Country Club review | Alexis Petridis’s album of the week

Lana Del Rey: Chemtrails Over the Country Club review | Alexis Petridis’s album of the week

The Guardian

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(Polydor)
Her usual themes of nostalgia, troubled fame and ne’er-do-well lovers are trotted out again – but the melody writing is stronger than ever

There is boldly talking your new album up, and then there is the approach taken by Lana Del Rey prior to the release of Chemtrails Over the Country Club. “I am literally changing the world by putting my life and thoughts and love out there on the table 24 seven,” she wrote during a social media exchange about her eighth solo album’s cover art. “Respect it.”

Clearly, here were rich pickings for connoisseurs of the point where a pop star says something so self-regarding it makes your head hurt, but Del Ray may be forgiven for getting carried away. An artist given an unfairly rough ride on arrival, she finds herself, a decade on, not merely vastly commercially successful, but hugely influential, the inspiration behind a wave of melancholy bedroom pop that loops disconsolately in the background of TikTok videos. Moreover, her last album, 2019’s Norman Fucking Rockwell!, topped critical end of year lists (including in the Guardian) and was hailed as the work of “simply one of the best songwriters in the country” by Bruce Springsteen. She was recently featured on the front of a heritage rock magazine that doesn’t ordinarily put photographs of thirtysomething singer-songwriters on its cover unless they were taken in 1972. “Joan Baez advocates her acceptance in the pantheon,” it wrote, reassuring its more conservative readers.

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