Track Review: Lana Del Rey // Arcadia


Lana Del Rey has returned sooner than expected with the first official single, ‘Arcadia,’ from her upcoming album Blue Banisters. After the release of the Jack Antonoff produced Chemtrails Over the Country Club, Del Rey dropped a trio of non-official singles, ‘Blue Banisters,’ ‘Wildflower Wildfire’ and ‘Text Book.’ Similarly to Chemtrails, the songs were met with mixed reviews. 

Like many artists, Lana Del Rey has a certain expectation when it comes to her music. After the global success of her Grammy nominated 2019 album Norman F*cking Rockwell, fans and critics alike had their expectations raised. 

Lana has taken a new stance when it comes to her work, she is making the music she wished she always could. With Chemtrails Over the Country Club she took herself back to her days before stardom, living in a trailer park under the alias Lizzy Grant.

‘Arcadia’ comes as a celebration of herself. She sings of her body being a map of Los Angeles and her chest the Sierra Madre – which appears to be a celebration of where she was and where she is now. Throughout her career she has been scrutinised for her ‘glorification’ of depression, heartbreak and toxic relationships – here we can hear a clear contrast with a love song in its purest form. Lana sings “I’m leaving with nothing but laughter and this town”, explaining that this is a love song to herself and where she is.

The vocals sung in ‘Arcadia’ are different to what is usual for Lana. You can hear this in the line “all roads that lead to you as integral to me / as arteries that pump blood that flows straight to the heart of me”. Here her voice becomes much more theatrical, this sound suits her voice perfectly. Although, this was a shock to hear this style of vocals on such a quaint and peaceful track.

With the announcement of ‘Arcadia’,  Lana took to Instagram and captioned the post ‘ARCADIA, out Wednesday, listen to it like you listened to Video Games.’ Which is no longer visible as Lana has recently disappeared from all social media. 

The Lana Del Rey celebration has died down a significant amount over recent years. When she released her first official record, Born To Die, it instantly became a classic and a whole moment in time, securing her in the hall of legends. The announcement of Blue Banisters shortly after the release of Chemtrails Over the Country Club. Many fans expected Del Rey to stay quiet for a while, however this quick turnaround comes as no surprise as many artists are beginning to release projects closer and closer together.

Lana has matured through her career – gone are the days of the careless nature of her career, she wants to make music that people care about, she is attempting to create another Born To Die

Will ‘Arcadia’ be the new ‘Video Games’? Will Blue Banisters be the new Born To Die? Unlikely. However, this could be the direction Del Rey needs to go in to find the one thing she could be searching for which is success.

Words by Luke Severn

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