Album of the Week: Lana Del Rey, 'Norman F--ing Rockwell!'

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Cover art for Lana Del Rey's 'Norman F---ing Rockwell!'
Cover art (slightly blurred) for Lana Del Rey's 'Norman F---ing Rockwell!' (Polydor Records)
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Our album of the week is Norman F---ing Rockwell!. Yes, the exclamation point is part of the title, and yes, we blanked some letters from that title because hey, there are things you just can't say on the radio. It's the highly-anticipated sixth studio album from the postmodern chanteuse, and although the folk-flavored arrangements don't break Del Rey's well-established melancholy mold, it's an inviting and often witty effort: on the album cover, she's extending a hand to welcome you on board.

For more on the album and Del Rey's artistic evolution over the past decade, read about Jay Gabler's recent conversation with her. Here's an excerpt from that story:

In the video for "The greatest" (the second half of a shared clip with "F--k it I love you"), Lana Del Rey sings, "L.A. is in flames, it's getting hot/ Kanye West is blond and gone/ 'Life on Mars' ain't just a song." She's walking through the fossil-fuel infrastructure of the California coast, suggesting an apocalyptic reckoning.

"I'm always thinking big-picture, whether I say it or not." she said when we spoke by phone just before her new album, Norman F---ing Rockwell!, was released. "I don't know if I was thinking specifically about climate change, but just where we are now culturally."

The new album, made in collaboration with super-producer Jack Antonoff (Lorde, Taylor Swift, St. Vincent, Carly Rae Jepsen), has an acoustic, piano-driven aesthetic...but yes, she confirms with a laugh, there is supposed to be an exclamation point in its title. "I liked the idea of the 'f---ing' in the middle being an exclamation on the state of the culture and everything going on."

Read more.

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