I think you should give Huntymoon and Lackluster for Life a second chance tbh Love this review tho my mykonos godAs I've mentioned previously I've been... let's just say quite removed from the LDR fandom due to being totally unmoved by her previous efforts Lust for Life and Honeymoon so, truthfully, I went into NFR! with no expectations (I also didn't listen to any of the released singles so everything is new to me) and it utterly blew me away. The title track immediately pulled me in and by the time the back half of the song soars into an operatic crescendo sonically evocative of the luminosity of Sissy Spacek in Terrence Malick's Badlands I knew I was in for a treat. Her voice fading out as she repeats "Blue" in one of the lushest tones I've ever heard was all I needed to be on board. Lana really has a knack for ending songs and I don't think anything in her oeuvre represents that theory better than Venice Bitch. Laced with swirling guitars and crashes and a myriad of other brash sounds beautifully at odds with her voice, it's like Kid A guided under the feminine touch.
Unfortunately, F*ck it I love you & Doin' Time are the ebbs of the album but they seem to no longer matter when the string of Love Song-Cinnamon Girl-How to disappear elevates Lana into such a stratosphere that I wonder if I'm genuinely listening to her magnum opus. Love Song, in particular, is one of the most tender and heartfelt declarations of love in quite a while. Lana sings as a wayward woman, hardened through years of failing to reach the Americana dream but by the album's closer, hope is a dangerous thing... there's peculiar ownership that has drifted over all her words uttered up to this point. The dream is buried but along the way, she's accepted life and love and all the hardships that come with it and is now in the bliss of freedom.
All in all, NFR! is a monumental work for an artist who I pretty much gave up on. It's relentless and at the same time a meandering journey into a tormented, frail, and, somehow, self-aware mind. Endlessly cycling from poignant, soft, fragile, to ethereal, tremendous, biting moods without ever coming close to veering off the road.