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Album Review

Lana Del Rey is back with her sixth studio album, Norman F------ Rockwell! This time, the often provocative singer has teamed up with Grammy Award-winning producer and former fun. guitarist, Jack Antonoff, to create an album that blends indie sensibilites with pop, psychadelic and folk elemetns.

Despite the harsh profanity in its title, Del Rey's latest at times offers glimpses of hope, beauty and idealism. When paired with Lana’s alluring vocals, listeners may momentarily be swept into a yearing for wholeness and healing.

Still, this is a Lana Del Rey album. And those glimpses of light and beauty are soon drowned beneath lyrical waves of despair and indifference.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

A perfect love has yet to appear, but Lana still longs for someone she can love for the rest of her life in “How to Disappear” (“As I think about all those years/As I whisper in your ear/I’m always gon’ to be right here/No one’s going anywhere”), “Cinnamon Girl,” “Love Song” and “Venice B--ch” (“Give me Hallmark/One dream, one life, one lover”). On “California,” we hear this encouragement to be honest: "You don’t ever have to be stronger than you really are/When you’re lying in my arms.”

“F--- It I Love You” says that no matter where you go, you carry your problems with you until they’re resolved: “I moved to California/But it’s just a state of mind/Turns out everywhere you go/You take yourself, that’s not a lie.” Similarly in “Mariner’s Apartment Complex,” Lana believes that people can change for the better and that they’re worth fighting for: “And who I am is a big time beliver/That people change, but you don’t have to leave here/When everyone’s talking, you can make a stand.”

“Bartender” shows Lana turning away from drinking: “Baby remember, I’m not drinking wine/But that Cherry Coke you serve is fine.”

In “Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have—But I Have It,” Lana works to improve her life despite a murky past.

Objectionable Content

Nearly every song here touches on sex, sensuality, dysfunctional relationships, personal dysfunction, drug use or alcohol abuse.

Causal sex and dysfunctional relationships are front and center on the oft-profane title track, “Mariners Apartment Complex” (“Dream a dream, use the scene, touch me anywhere 'cause I’m your baby/Grab my waist, don’t waste any part”) and “The Next Best American Record” (“Whatever’s on tonight, I just want to party with you/Topanga’s hot tonight, I’m taking off my bathing suit/You mad me feel like there’s something that I never knew”).

A few tracks focus on men who become distant and self-destructive because of alcohol and drug use: “How to Disappear,” (“I watch the guys getting high as they fight/For the things that they hold dear/To forget the things they fear”), “Cinnamon Girl” (“All the pills you did/Violet, blue, green, red to keep me at arm’s length didn’t work”) and “Venice B--ch.” Similarly, “F--- It I Love You” includes detailed references to former drug usage (“I used to shoot up my veins in neon”).

Alcohol usage and partying are glorified in “California” (“I’ll pick up all of your folks and all of your rolling stones/Your favorite liquor off the top shelf/I’ll throw a party, all night long”) and “Bartender” (“Wine is flowing with Bacardi”).

Happiness is elusive, and hope seems out of reach in “Happiness Is a Butterfly.” Lana says that she tries to hold onto happiness, but “it escapes from my hands into the moonlight.” And when it comes to a risky relationship, Lana's not too concerned about a possibly violent outcome: “If he’s a serial killer, then what’s the worst/That can happen to a girl who’s already hurt?”

“Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have—But I Have It” focuses confessionally (and, again, profanely) on personal dysfunction and self-destruction: “I’ve been tearing up town in my f---ing white gown/24/7, Sylvia Plath/ … Like a g--d--n near sociopath”).

Profane language litters many songs as nearly half of the tracks are labeled “explicit.” God’s name is misused, the f-word and s-word are heard numerous times, and other profanity includes words like “b--ch” and “d--n.”

Summary Advisory

Lana Del Rey describes this album as being “without any one big song.” And while that might be true stylistically, it’s not true thematically for these 14 tracks. Drug and alcohol abuse references are present, causal sex and dysfunctional relationships are pervaisve, and despair and depression have a tight grip on even the cheeriest of moments.

Hopeful musings do exist here, to be clear. We even get some wise words of wisdom and moments of self-reflection amid Lana Del Rey's vulnerable longings for a deep and meaningful love. But most of the time, it’s hard to see these moments for what they are when they’re covered in profanity, sex, dysfunction and darkness.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range







Record Label

Polydor Records, Interscope Records




August 30, 2019

On Video

Year Published



Kristin Smith

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