By: Julia Fluke, Assistant Editor
Views expressed in opinion columns are the author’s own.
Lana Del Rey’s seventh studio album, “Chemtrails Over the Country Club,” shows her deviating from her traditional patriotism and verging into a new era.
Similar to the others in her catalog, “Chemtrails Over the Country Club,” which was released on March 19, has influences from America and old Hollywood, but what makes this album different from the rest is the emphasis on escapism. Instead of singing about her love for Los Angeles and Hollywood, Del Rey now wants to escape it.
If I had one word to describe her music, it would be American. Throughout all seven albums produced by Del Rey, America and patriotism have been a theme that prevails over anything else. Her catalog includes songs such as “American,” “National Anthem” and “God Bless America— And All the Beautiful Women In It.” Not only does she reference America as a whole, but she also likes to focus on the West Coast and New York City, as seen in songs like “Brooklyn Baby,” “West Coast” and “California.”
Del Rey has had a lengthy career and started creating music in 2005 under her real name Lizzy Grant until her single “Video Games” became her first major hit in 2011, where Lizzy Grant then changed her name to Lana Del Rey.
She associates her style with old Hollywood, describing herself as a “gangster Nancy Sinatra.” She has mentioned Hollywood icons Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe in her albums and draws great influences from them.
There is a reference to leaving California in almost every song on the album which is very unusual of Del Rey. Right away in the album’s title track “Chemtrails Over the Country Club,” Del Rey sings “I’m on the run with you my sweet love” and in the fifth track “Wild at Heart” she sings “I left Calabasas/ escaped all the ashes/ ran into the dark.”
Those are just a few of many. Instead of talking about how much she loves California like in the majority of her previous albums, she is singing about states like Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arkansas
“I’m ready to leave L.A. and I want you to come” Del Rey sings in the song “Let Me Love You Like A Woman.”
Honestly, this album took a lot of time to grow on me. I am a long-time fan of Del Rey and her music. What threw me off on this album was that it is so different from the rest. I was so immersed in her West Coast aesthetic for the past six years that “Chemtrails Over the Country Club” shocked me. We have never heard Del Rey sing like this before. It’s a very raw singer-songwriter album.
There’s not a single upbeat song and the album is very somber, which isn’t quite unusual for Del Rey, but usually, she includes one or two “happier” songs on past albums. I initially had a theory that this was Del Rey’s farewell album because of the theme of escapism and singing about leaving everything behind for a simpler life. However, my theory proved to be incorrect because almost right after “Chemtrails Over the Country Club” was released, Del Rey announced that she will be releasing another album titled “Blue Banisters” in July.
Overall, I do recommend listening to this album, listening to it is like a breath of fresh air. It is especially great for road trips and hot summer nights. It’s a very chill album, so listening to it while studying also wouldn’t be a bad idea. Personally, I am extremely excited for “Blue Banisters” and what Del Rey will do next.