After almost a year and a half of nothing new from Lana Del Rey, “Love” surprised fans two days ago. Del Rey’s signature dreamy vocals are back, singing with a certain irony about what it’s like “to be young and in love.”
The first two verses might sound a little like a grandmother singing to her granddaughters about love: “Look at you kids, you know you’re the coolest / The world is yours and you can’t refuse it / Seen so much, you could get the blues / But that don’t mean that you should abuse it.” It could even be Del Rey singing to her wild and carefree Born To Die persona. But then the last chorus changes to personal pronouns: “I get ready, I get all dressed up / To go nowhere in particular / It doesn’t matter if I’m not enough / For the future or the things to come / ‘Cause I’m young and in love.” She’s still young and in love; she’s yet not grown out of that stage of life.
The arrangement feels much more modern than past releases. The orchestral swells that opened 2015’s Honeymoon aren’t gone completely; they’re more muted, present moreso as a fill in the spaces between verses than as a player in their own right.
The music video dropped today, with the first half featuring couples taking pictures of each other, driving around, and generally being young and in love—then the second half goes galactic. Del Rey goes from singing on a stage to singing on a moon. Three friends in a car are no longer driving toward the shore, they’re now hurtling toward the sun. What?! I don’t know what’s going on, but visually, it’s beautiful. It’s dreamy, it’s nostalgic, it’s stunning in its switches and fades from black and white to vintage-y color. The color itself is an interesting animal—the blues are especially cool, the yellows rather warm. There’s probably an Instagram filter to describe it, but I can’t think of it right now.
We heard very little from Del Rey last year, aside from a feature on The Weeknd’s “Stargirl Interlude,” but with the release of “Love,” there can only be more to come. A release date or title for the upcoming fifth album hasn’t been announced yet.
Watch the video below: