The first two singles released in late 2018 from Lana Del Rey’s new album Norman Fucking Rockwell! (Interscope/Polydor/UMG) should have been enough to prove she is virtually defining social commentary in the Trump era. Yet a few naysayers still see Del Rey as a languorous, monotone singer for the dissolute. Such a view should have been disproved with 2017’s Lust for Life. (Those who don’t get Del Rey are the same types that never understood F. Scott Fitzgerald as inherently political.)
This album is a testament and a scream, bemoaning mass shootings in “Looking for America” and describing the deterioration of California in “The Greatest.” Jack Antonoff is primary producer for both this album and Taylor Swift’s Lover, suggesting an angels and demons dichotomy. Del Rey plays right in, covering Donovan’s “Season of the Witch.” And the heartbreaking personal songs she pre-released in 2018, “Mariners Apartment Complex” and “Venice Bitch,” round out a 14-track powerhouse.