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Lana Del Rey’s Blue Banisters Is a Plea for Inner Peace In Chaotic Times

Lana has long been known for her nostalgic tunes. Where does her new album place her in today’s music landscape?

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With virtually no warning, Lana Del Rey dropped her ninth studio album Blue Banisters across all major streaming platforms at the end of October. The album contains many of the quintessential Lana themes of loneliness and longing and heartbreak, carried by her classic croning, melodic voice.

In the title track, she mourns the loss of a lover that once promised to fix her weathervane and paint her banisters blue, someone who’d “give her children and take away her pain.” Through the healing power of the women that surround her, she copes with her loss and paints the banisters herself in an act of reclamation. As we make our way through the album, Lana expresses her craving for a quiet domestic lifestyle, and laments about being a beautiful, yet damaged woman.

Lana’s vintage sound has historically offered us a reprieve from our current troubles, bringing us into a nostalgic world away from the one we live in. However, within the first few tracks of Blue Banisters, we notice a shift away from Lana’s typical retro references. She mentions quarantine, the Black Lives Matter movement, and Zoom amidst lyrics about being a “bad girl” and lying down for a man “like a bed of wildflowers.” There also seems to be a level of awareness that Lana has come to possess with regards to her own stardom. Following the wild child antics of her past and the legacy and fame she’s established as a singer, she crones about desiring the simple companionship of one devoted man. She mentions childhood memories and trauma, and even dedicates the album’s deeply personal final track, “Sweet Carolina,” to her sister. (Ironically enough, the song also includes a comical dig at a crypto bro named Kevin, which fans have been loving.)