Song of the Day #4,100: ‘Normal Fucking Rockwell’ – Lana Del Rey

Continuing my countdown of the songs on Lana Del Rey’s Norman Fucking Rockwell.

8. ‘Venice Bitch’ – One of the first singles released, a full year ago, ‘Venice Bitch’ clocks in at nearly 10 minutes, with most of that running time devoted to a swirling, ethereal electric guitar part. When I wrote about this song back in February, I predicted that I would likely skip the back half during future listens. Interestingly, I never have… it has such a glorious vibe I can’t help but see it through every time. As Del Rey told her label when they balked at releasing such a long song as a single, “end of summer some people just wanna drive around for 10 minutes and get lost in electric guitar.”

7. ‘Love song’ – Another of NFR‘s quiet piano ballads, this appropriately titled track is one of the most straightforward love songs Del Rey has ever written. “The taste, the touch, the way we love, it all comes down to make the sound of our love song.”

6. ‘Norman Fucking Rockwell’ – The lead-off and title track of Norman Fucking Rockwell gets right down to business with a brazen and bawdy opening line that simultaneously props up her paramour and cuts him down to size. This song boasts a terrific vocal performance against a lovely backdrop of strings and piano. As for the eye-catching title of this album and song, it’s a comment on the American dream as seen through the prism of Trump’s America (he’s not the man-child of this song, but he is most definitely a man-child). Through much of Del Rey’s career she has played with images of Americana, but like a lot of us she is finding this country harder and harder to recognize.

[Verse 1]
Goddamn, man-child
You fucked me so good that I almost said “I love you”
You’re fun and you’re wild
But you don’t know the half of the shit that you put me through
Your poetry’s bad and you blame the news
But I can’t change that, and I can’t change your mood, ah

[Chorus]
‘Cause you’re just a man
It’s just what you do
Your head in your hands
As you color me blue
Yeah, you’re just a man
All through and through
Your head in your hands
As you color me blue
Blue, blue, blue

[Verse 2]
Goddamn, man-child
You act like a kid even though you stand six foot two
Self-loathing poet, resident Laurel Canyon know-it-all
You talk to the walls when the party gets bored of you
But I don’t get bored, I just see it through
Why wait for the best when I could have you? You?

[Chorus]
‘Cause you’re just a man
It’s just what you do
Your head in your hands
As you color me blue
Yeah, you’re just a man
All through and through
Your head in your hands
As you color me blue
Blue, blue
You make me blue

[Outro]
Blue, blue
Blue, blue, blue
Blue, blue, blue

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,100: ‘Normal Fucking Rockwell’ – Lana Del Rey

  1. Maddie says:

    Sorry to have missed the past couple of days! I checked this album out as soon as it was dropped because I’m always curious to hear what Lana is up to. I’m not sure what it is, but her voice is always very lulling to me. It’s tricky to listen to her music in the car, which is where I listen to all my favorite tracks. Still, I find this album pretty mesmerizing, especially this song which is one of the only ones I’ve returned to since my first listen through. Excited to see what’s made the very top of your list.

  2. Dana Gallup says:

    Man-child indeed!

    I hear an Aimee Mann vibe on this album, which I’m sure is part of your affection for Lana.

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