Lana Del Rey: Chemtrails Over the Country Club review – bold and beautiful

Lana Del Rey: Chemtrails Over the Country Club review – bold and beautiful

The Guardian

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(Polydor)
On her strikingly assured seventh album, Del Rey reflects on fame, love, loneliness and the solidarity of fellow female songwriters, from Joni Mitchell to Weyes Blood

Lana Del Rey’s latest album begins with the borderline infamous singer-songwriter reminiscing about a time before fame. Sung in a fluttering soprano at the very limit of her range, White Dress pictures the 19-year-old Del Rey in a tight uniform, working as a waitress in the mid-00s and dreaming of what is to come. “Down at the Men in Music Business Conference,” she confides in a breathless rush, the budding artist finally feels “seen”.

At the album’s other end sits a cover of Joni Mitchell’s For Free, in which the grande dame of song pondered, in 1970, how a busker can play “real good, for free” to so little acclaim, while Mitchell herself is raking it in as a celebrity. Del Rey’s album has more than one arc, but one is a numbers game. On White Dress she is alone; by the end, she is joined by Weyes Blood and singer-songwriter Zella Day, each singing a Joni verse and joining in on period-perfect harmonies, weighing up the contradictions.

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