As the buildup to the summer of Lana Del Rey persists, it’s only natural that the witchy one should give us another new sampling from her forthcoming album, Lust for Life. And what better single choice than the eponymous track itself?
And, furthermore, who better to accompany her on it than The Weeknd? As his beloved collaborator on 2015’s “Prisoner” and 2016’s “Stargirl Interlude” (with an appropriately neon-soaked video to match), it’s only fair that LDR should get a little support on one of her tracks from him. Picking up where “Love” left off in pacing and tone, “Lust for Life” also possesses more than a tinge of being reminiscent of another earlier song from Del Rey’s oeuvre.
Echoing the same intonation and sonority as “Without You” from LDR’s now five-year-old debut, the chorus to “Lust for Life” features the insistence, “Take off, take off/Take off all your clothes”–an almost exact auditory re-creation of the part of “Without You” that screams, “Hello, hello/C-can you hear me?” But it wouldn’t be a testament to Del Rey’s retro-inspired evolution if she didn’t also add just a hint of Shangri-Las panache with a “doo wop” here and there.
The video harkens back to the Twilight Zone-esque teaser Del Rey released in the final days of March, her reference to living in the H of the Hollywood sign coming full-circle with the lyric specifically urging, “Climb up the H of the Hollywood sign,” as she sits atop it in a red dress (that especially stands out in Sin City cinematography style amid a black and white backdrop) with The Weeknd beside her. Her ruffled socks briefly look like ropes around her ankles as the slow zoom-in to the duo reveals she’s merely catering to her inner little girl aesthetic hoping to catch “Daddy’s” eye.
The sweeping vista of a noirish L.A., continuing to feature that lunar love she’s been so fond of lately, compliments the whimsy and optimism of Del Rey and The Weeknd’s assurance that “a lust for life keeps us alive”–so don’t get so fucking depressed about politics all the time.
Del Rey’s natural gift for drawing from the past for her own unique blend of modern and classic sounds manifests most overtly with her use of: “My boyfriend’s back–and he’s cooler than ever,” a repackaged lyrical tribute to The Angels’ original as only Del Rey can manage to get away with. And now that she’s been in the game long enough, she’s even managed to borrow from herself in excerpting such noticeable elements of “Without You.”