- Lana Del Rey - R.I.P. The Pop
- 453 MB
Like every female “pop” star, Lana Del Rey decided to enlist the help of “top pop producers” for her 2017 release Lust For Life. Considering their work consists of making every song sound the same (a glossy style with synthesized beats, repeated basic chord progressions (especially I-V-vi-IV), and clichéd elements (an R&B/hip hop guest singer using autotune), there is no point to doing so other than making money. Employing Max Martin on your album is the literal definition of selling out, and no artist’s work has been better for it.
Unlike Taylor Swift and other “luminaries” however, Del Rey only utilized such producers on a handful of tracks. Most of the songs were written with her usual collaborator Rick Nowels, and hardly anybody else. This produced an album which starts off as another run of the mill pop throwaway before becoming a follow-up to her previous works Ultraviolence and Honeymoon (and then oscillating between those two extremes). Although the pop producer songs were tracked up front, none of the singles reached the top 40 despite being created specifically for this purpose. And Del Rey surpassed Honeymoon’s 65 minutes with 16 songs that almost reach 72 minutes. Considering Lust For Life doesn’t fully appease Del Rey or general pop fans, it’s doubtful many people make it through that in one sitting.
Looking through the track composers made a solution obvious. Any song with more than two writers was immediately booted, while the rest would be arranged more coherently. In practice, this was modified so that two songs with three writers (When The World Was At War We Kept Dancing, Tomorrow Never Came) were kept while God Bless America – And All The Beautiful Women In It had to be cut despite initially being included. This left nine tracks which barely run over 40 minutes, but the result is much more satisfying and easier to listen to in one sitting.
The album now plays as something of a critique of contemporary society, although there is no overarching story like on Divorce. This is much more apparent when all of the guest stars (producers and singers) are removed, although Sean Lennon’s spot on Tomorrow Never Came had to be retained. He unsurprisingly sounds very much like his father, and the song feels like an alternate universe Del Rey/Beatles collaboration, but there is no better closer and it seems to improve with repeated listens. The final minute from Lust For Life’s actual closer, Get Free, was appended here also since it felt appropriate.
Considering Lust For Life is much better known as an album and song by Iggy Pop, this edit’s new title reflects that. Since Del Rey has developed her own style, there is no reason for her to sell out to pop producers whose goal is making everyone sound the same. Hopefully this experiment will not be repeated since it was half-assed and unsuccessful (both artistically and chart-wise). Del Rey has actually produced compelling work for her last three albums, but her poor editing and ordering has muddled this fact. You don’t need to fill out an entire CD and kowtow to popular trends because that’s what everybody else does. Del Rey is an LP artist, and she doesn’t require outside collaborators to produce her best work. This is what R.I.P. The Pop demonstrates.
- White Mustang
- In My Feelings
- Coachella - Woodstock In My Mind
- 13 Beaches
- We Kept Dancing
- Tomorrow Never Came
Total time: 40:20
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