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Review: Lana del Rey’s ‘A&W’

Lana del Rey’s “experience of bein’ an American whore” on her new single, ‘A&W’ is compelling and versatile. Arpeggiating, breathy piano keys are intertwined with acoustic guitar plucks in verses that run through grassy fields. An impactful rhythm change for the chorus dispels this enjoyable monotony as vocal distortions and manipulated sonics are slowly incorporated into the mix.

The song comes to a lull around the halfway mark as a transition begins, which could be argued to be awkwardly long. Increasingly full drums enliven and hark back to bygone eras of Lana singing over more electronic beats. Jack Antonoff clearly had fun with the nuanced and textured production style, as the instrumental swells to demonstrate a more unhinged Lana than the one who began the song. The bombastic beat, over which Lana tells us “Jimmy only love me when he wanna get high”, is infectious in its presentation and entertains the listener throughout.

The only outright fault of this offering from del Rey is the aforementioned transition between parts being slightly drawn out, and the song ultimately loses its sharpness at points. Considering the drastic stylistic change of this single from  ‘Ocean Blvd’, it’s anyone’s guess as to what her new album will sound like overall. 

Image “Lana Del Rey Eurockéennes de Belfort” by Michel PETIT is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.