Today’s Song: Lana Del Rey Is Not Enough, but Young and in “Love”

Love - Lana Del Rey artwork

Lana Del Rey makes a resounding triumphed return to alternative-pop music with the surprise release of new ballad “Love” (Polydor/ Interscope Records). The release comes shortly after mysterious “Love” cover artwork posters were plastered over the streets of Los Angeles.  The Rolling Stone reported that “Love” was dropped ahead of its scheduled world premiere because the track had leaked.

Del Rey retains her signature sound of smoky-soft retro inspired vocals paired with contemporary beats.  Yet “Love” is strictly for the fans —her muses— and is her latest music since her EP Honeymoon (2015).  “I made my first four albums for me, but this one is for my fans and about where I hope we are all headed,” Del Rey stated in a press release. Perhaps focusing on her fans is Del Rey’s way of announcing her progressive artistic evolution?

Watch: “Love” – Lana Del Rey


The track was penned by Emile Haynie, Rick Nowels, Benny Blanco, and Del Rey herself. Nowels and Haynie have collaborated with Del Rey in the past on “Young And Beautiful,” and “Summertime Sadness,” respectively, while Blanco has a resume of his own too, finessing many of today’s pop hits from Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, and more.

“Love” serves as a dynamic lead for Del Rey’s upcoming —currently— untitled album.  It combines her prowess trance-like contralto touching those low notes that listeners recognize her for alongside perpetual guitar strumming,  orchestra instrumentals, and a passive electronic thump.  Her repertoire usually evokes anguish or frail-sadness –almost to the extent of depression— like“Love,”  a ubiquitous humane emotion, yet “Love” is distinct because it’s delicate, dramatic, and even optimistic in nature.

Look at you kids with your vintage music
Comin’ through satellites while cruisin’
You’re part of the past, but now you’re the future
Signals crossing can get confusing
Love - Lana Del Rey

Love – Lana Del Rey

The delayed vocal builds tension, as Del Rey opens referring to her fans as “kids,” because many of them are millennials while she feels more experienced at 31-years-old.  She then dissects time into a relatable cynical manner: remembering past mistakes, and worrying about the unforeseen future.  This verse is almost as if she’s offering seasoned advice to her fans assuring them it’s okay that their paths going forward “can get confusing.”

Though it’s enough just to
make you go crazy, crazy, crazy
I know, it’s enough just to
make you go crazy, crazy, crazy

In the pre-chorus, Del Rey gets philosophical singing in a frazzled state that she “knows” life is uncontrollably messy.

But you get ready, you get all dressed up
To go nowhere in particular
Back to work or the coffee shop
It don’t matter because it’s enough
To be young and in love (ah, ah)
To be young and in love (ah, ah)

Del Rey is practicing empathy for her adoring fans envisioning their world. She imagines them fussing over outfits to look unnecessarily flashy when they go out. She sees them continuing their mundane lives of working the 9am-5pm grind or sipping morning coffee.

Lana Del Rey © 2017

Lana Del Rey © 2017

She croons, “to be young and in love” twice; Del Rey believes that in one’s youth being in love is all you need. She’s putting an emphasis on the last line too in the resonating chorus by ad-libbing the subtle dreamy “ah.”

Look at you kids, you know you’re the coolest
The world is yours and you can’t refuse it
Seen so much, you could get the blues
But that don’t mean that you should abuse it

Del Rey reiterates the idea of being human to her fans and urging that they accept the idea of imperfection.  She ranks them in a high regard distinguishing them “cool kids.”  She’s advising them that they can do whatever they want with their lives yet cautioning succumbing to endured hardships by popping excessive amounts of “blue” pills. Del Rey is rephrasing the idea of “two wrongs don’t make a right” but in this instance, the wrong is “abusing” drugs.

Hmm (ah, ah), hmm (ah, ah)
Hmm… Don’t worry, baby
Hmm (ah, ah), hmm (ah, ah)
Hmm… Don’t worry, baby

The bridge/outro adds alternative flair missing in 2017.  Del Rey’s sultry-mesmerizing vocals do not disappoint trilling emotive ad-libs complementing the electronic backdrop.  She makes singing “hmm” sound like a trance alluring listeners into a deep sway.  She’s also paying homage to the Beach Boy’s classic “Don’t Worry Baby” by looping that phrase in her unique timbre.

I get ready, I get all dressed up
To go nowhere in particular
It doesn’t matter if I’m not enough
For the future or the things to come
‘Cause I’m young and in love (ah, ah)
I’m young and in love (ah, ah)

In the final chorus verse, Del Rey sonically waltzes with the slow-rhythmic beat crooning in the first person.  It’s the climax of “Love” where Del Rey expresses sharing ordinary experiences tied to her youthful fans: She too gets “all dressed up” when going “nowhere in particular.”

Del Rey ignites by becoming more personal suggesting —she only wants to satisfy herself— that she’s now apathetic to how others judge her.  Del Rey is essentially measuring success in her book contrary to how others define success or “enough.” She still considers herself young or perhaps it’s a veiled meaning: you’re as young or old as you feel rather than an age attribution. Overall she urges her fandom to practice love —probably in light of the world— preaching it’s all you need to thrive.

Del Rey has remained dormant for nearly 16 months —aside from her guest vocal spot on The Weeknd’s “Stargirl Interlude”— but a day after the rush release of “Love,” it flooded social media toppling Billboard’s Twitter Trending 140 Chart while garnering over a million Spotify streams. This hopeful ballad offers fans solace in knowing that Del Rey cherishes them enough to compose music inspired solely by them.

Del Rey’s intensely dark yet realistic somber lyrics hit-a-homerun in “Love” as it elicits emotions for listeners whom pay attention to the textured words rather than just the harmony.  It’s a philosophical feat that a dreary down-tempo sixties infused melody with bluesy vocals could gracefully convey the humane ideas of “imperfection” and generic “youthful love” together into mainstream pop. Del Rey hasn’t announced when her untitled fourth album will drop, but if the tracklist resembles “Love” she may hold a future Grammy in her hands.

Stream / Purchase “Love”

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Kevin is a new contributing writer for Atwood Magazine. He's also a New York City native and recent graduate from Baruch College who double majored in journalism and corporate communications. While in school he interned at some of the biggest record labels in the industry while taking classes to enhance his writing craft. His record label experience led him to now work at Universal Music Group. Musically, he’s drawn to anything urban-pop based. He’s a dog lover, advocate for diversity, and forever a Yankee fan. In his downtime he can be found dining at the many restaurants of the world. Follow Kevin on Twitter where he tweets about music news, world news, and pop-culture.