“Everybody says this new Lana Del Rey album is the one where she finally makes contact with reality from inside her perfumed dream silo, but I think it’s the other way around. With our government making each day of 2017 feel less believable than the one that came before, American reality — or the dismantling of it — seems to be merging with the singer’s vision.
Reality is fragile. If we intend to share it with one another, we have an obligation to protect it. And that’s one big lesson that art is always teaching us: The more familiar we become with what reality isn’t, the better we understand what it is. So we self-educate on the other side — through novels, through movies, through surfing our own theta waves, and now, through Lana Del Rey songs. “Is it the end of America?” she wonders on her record, asking the most burning question in the republic from deep within a dream.
Which is all to say that this new album, “Lust for Life ,” feels like a 21st-century Watusi down the yellow brick road — a gratifying pivot from the old stuff, which only ever made Del Rey sound as if she was dream-journaling on Xanax.”