Not wanting to keep the people waiting with the visual accompaniment to her most recent single, “Love,” Lana Del Rey’s latest music video finds the old soul of a crooner (who still isn’t an old enough of a soul to differentiate The Beatles’ work from John Lennon’s solo albums) on top of the moon, quite literally. But it wouldn’t be signature Lana if she didn’t first start on Earth, channeling the hippie vibes of some of her idols while wearing a flowing white dress and flowers strewn throughout her hair.
Simple makeup in the form of thin but elongated winged eyeliner paired with dramatic eyelashes lend sincerity to eyes that rarely smile, but, in this particular video, there is a jubilance to Del Rey we’ve never quite seen before. And how can one blame her when the subject at hand is all about being young and in love? Reverting to her method of “found” scenes scattered throughout, the video’s director, Rich Lee, breaks the illusion that we’re still possibly in the 60s after cutting to a couple that has no problem snapping photos of each other with an iPhone. Oh Lana, we thought you were a little less prone to technology use than that. It’s almost as scandalous as when Xavier Dolan used that flip phone in Adele’s video for “Hello.” But then we’re transported back to the past with the boat-like car structures of the 60s cruising through Los Angeles (another staple of LDR videos).
Intermixed color and black and white scenes add to this feel of the past, present and eventually future combining as an audience of the youths of which Lana speaks watch her perform as though they’re in a movie theater, quietly taking in the sight of the spectacle. Soon, however, everything turns to color, Pleasantville-style, as the moon appears above them in the venue–one supposes Lana Del Rey’s singing has that kind of effect on the universe.
Continuing to gain her sense of joy at this point, Lana miraculously ascends to the moon as the planets appear to gracefully mesh and collide. From her lunar perch, the young lovers down below and around her get swept up in the looming and giant presence of the moon as one of the retro cars from before dances a gravityless dance in space, along with a floating, enamored woman, incidentally, holding an iPhone again. But apart from this small detail of these “modern times,” Del Rey and Lee create an overall sense that the past and the future are always aligned, destined to “swipe right” with each other like two lovers who have succumbed to the honeymoon phase of l’amour. The only question is: where the fuck is Lana’s love? This could be why a table with a bottle of alcohol and a single glass rests beside her on the moon.