Lana Del Ray has romanticized the old-fashioned wealthy and successful lifestyle of Hollywood with each album release. Her sexy, feminine voice seduces listeners into believing cocaine, diamonds and motorcycles are the epitomes of the American dream.
Her song “Ride” off her 2012 album “Born to Die” sings, “I’ve been out on that open road/You can be my full-time daddy white and gold.” She proposes a different form of feminism than what we see from most artists, with the common trend of heartless women who don’t need a man stealing headlines and song titles nationwide.
However, Del Ray portrays the fragility of women. Emotions are highlighted in her lyrics, not shoved to the side. She embraces feminism with curls and pearls but will add her freakish sexual flare. Her high-pitched voice coos, “Smiling for miles in pink dresses and high heels on white yachts/But I’m not/Baby, I’m not,” in her melancholy song “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have - but I have it” that has become a ballad for heartbroken girls across America. This distinction in the industry has proven her a standout amongst female artists but has caused recent public controversies.
Del Ray received backlash for “glamorizing abuse” in her first two albums “Born to Die” and “Ultraviolence.” Over quarantine, she addressed this issue on Instagram. Her post read:
“Now that Doja Cat, Ariana, Camila, Cardi B, Kehlani, and Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé have had number ones with songs about being sexy, wearing no clothes, fucking, cheating, etc – can I please go back to singing about being embodied, feeling beautiful by being in love even if the relationship is not perfect, or dancing for money — or whatever I want — without being crucified for saying I am glamorizing abuse?”
Her point came to say that she is making space for “women who look and act like me … the kind of women who are slated mercilessly for being their authentic, delicate selves.” This is where "Chemtrails Over the Country Club" comes into play.
Rolling Stone magazine deems it her most “delicate sounding album to date.” The album differs from the rest as Del Ray takes her stance for delicate women. The album highlights the comfort in simplicity in a world that is chaotic. Claire Shaffer for The Rolling Stones sums this up perfectly:
“Kids dance the Louisiana two-step in a forgotten bar; a prolonged breakup meets its bitter end; people get high and make out in a parking lot while ‘the whole world is crazy.’ It’s an incredibly bleak yet weirdly comforting sentiment all at once – the notion that one’s personal dramas, the ups and downs of “normal” life, will continue to go on even as the rest of the world goes to shit.”
Her album opens with a sentiment to her frustrations with the music industry and reputation as she reflects on how simple her life could have been had she never had fame. The song is titled “White Dress,” with the color choice emulating purity and innocence. The chorus sings, “When I was a waitress wearing a tight dress handling the heat/I wasn’t famous just listening to Kings of Leon to the beat.” She romanticizes the simplicity of an average life, which is something many take for granted.
The lead single taking the title of the album, “Chemtrails Over the Country Club,” reiterates that Del Ray stands for her depiction of white womanhood despite the controversies. The song represents the classic Del Ray that fans crave. The lyrics touch on everything from jewels to God to swimming pools to drag racing to astrology. The fact that the song ranks second on Del Ray’s Spotify charts proves that her classic artistry is widely appreciated and never needs to change.
Her first single release since “Norman Fucking Rockwell” was titled “Let Me Love You Like A Woman.” While the second single paid tribute to classic Del Ray albums, this single sums up the entire new album. It opens by stating that Del Ray wants to leave LA, which shocks listeners as she has always referenced the Hollywood lifestyle and Southern California with songs like “Venice Bitch.” This proves her frustration with the music industry and her search for a simpler life. The chorus sings, “Let me love you like a woman/Let me hold you like a baby/ Let me shine like a diamond/Let me be who I’m meant to be.” This touches on Del Ray's standing up for women who are empowered by being in a relationship. It suggests who Del Ray is singing for moving forward.
The album shows the glories of change, whether that be in the music industry, relationships or lifestyles, which is comforting to listeners in a time where nothing seems certain. Songs like “Wild At Heart” and “Yosemite” refer to how the highs and lows of love are all beautiful, while songs like “Dark But Just A Game” and “Tulsa Jesus Freak” show how a simple life is a pleasing one. Its somber tones will wrap around you like a blanket or a hug and make you feel as though everything is going to be alright. As the album ends with the song “For Free” she kisses critics goodbye by being free of their criticism and kisses listeners goodbye by freeing them of the burdens this life can offer by providing comfort.