Not often do fans of the infamously melancholy Lana Del Rey get to hear a song that is genuinely happy. Yet this is precisely the kind of song that the singer’s new single “Love” is. For the girl known for penning songs like “Sad Girl” and “Pretty When You Cry”, “Love” couldn’t be more pleasantly opposite.
Del Rey, who released the song as a lead single for her upcoming album Lust for Life, has made a notable departure from her typically depressive, sultry style to create something blissful: an unadulterated love song. “Love,” a tribute to young romance, speaks straight from the mouth of enamored youth itself, as the chorus goes: “You get ready, you get all dressed up / to go nowhere in particular/ Back to work or the coffee shop / Doesn’t matter because it’s enough to be young and in love.”
The single, which harkens back to Del Rey’s previous work (especially her 2011 major label debut, Born to Die), follows a straight forward pop format, with short verses and an anthemic chorus. It is a repetitious tune that uses simple words, and even clichés, to communicate the message.
The accompanying music video is, quite literally, out of this world. The video, shot through a wistful, 1960s-Hollywood lens, plays out in charming scenes that encapsulate the youthful experience—like 20-somethings enjoying a drive or a spontaneous swim. Del Rey sings with a band in shots throughout, and even cracks a beaming smile a few times, replicating the expression on her recently released album cover. The video slowly floats into outer space while Del Rey nods to the Beach Boys with the line “don’t worry baby.”
Del Rey’s transformational abilities are on full show in the video, from the singer’s teased hair and sixties-inspired attire to the nostalgic shots of young couples exploring a cosmic world in which they find themselves transported. Del Rey has continued to use the universe of the music video in the trailer for the album itself, which is set in a starry universe above Hollywood and explains her vision for the upcoming album in spoken word.
Although the song is fraught with clichés of romance, Del Rey simplifies and distills the sentiments by idealizing the interactions between people in their daily lives. Del Rey gently sympathizes with the younger generation, as she coos, “you’re part of the past but now you’re the future,” before empathizing, “it’s enough just to make you feel crazy, crazy, crazy.” Still, Del Rey’s single is overwhelmingly hopeful.
“Love” doesn’t only signal a change in Del Rey’s style, but could be indicative of the direction of her upcoming album Lust for Life. If the rest of the album follows in the lead single’s example, fans can expect a new direction full of optimism and nostalgia, as a decided departure from Del Rey’s previous two albums Ultraviolence and Honeymoon.
Predictions aside, “Love” is a beautifully authentic sentiment on what it means “to be young and in love.”
Despite the fact that there is no current release date for Lust for Life, it is safe to assume that, if Del Rey’s breathtaking single is any indication, it will sweep listeners off their feet.