Pop divas don’t come any more provocative and unusual than Lana Del Rey. If the title of the New York City native’s latest album — Norman Fucking Rockwell!— didn’t already make it clear, the moody chanteuse has far greater things on her mind than behaving like a predictable, obedient pop star. Her grand, expressive singing unfurls ruefully on the enigmatic, role-reversing love song “Mariners Apartment Complex” and “Venice Bitch,” which, despite its title, is a gently intoxicating psychedelic folk-pop reverie that expands like an engrossing nine-minute dream. “Give me Hallmark/One dream, one life, one lover/Paint me happy and blue, Norman Rockwell,” Del Rey coos reverentially before disclosing, “You’re beautiful, and I’m insane.” Throughout the record, she drops allusions to Sylvia Plath, Long Beach, Kanye West, David Bowie, and The Beach Boys, tying it all together with her glimmering, aching phrasing.
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