Review: “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have - but i have it” — Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey loves to push buttons, whether it be intentionally or not.
The songstress has made a career of pissing off critics (and sometimes the general public) with her antics. With a ludicrous title and ridiculous cover to match, Del Rey has surely accomplished the feat again with the third offering from her forthcoming album, Norman Fucking Rockwell! The only question that remains: does the music hold up to the flippancy? Absolutely.
Originally titled “Sylvia Plath,” the song revels in the melodrama that Del Rey and Plath are known for, with striking lyrics like “writing in blood on my walls/’cause the ink in my pen don’t work in my notepad” creating bold visuals for the listener to dwell on. Like most of the singer’s output, “hope” makes several references to Americana iconography, such as Slim Aarons and Black Narcissus, allowing the song to fit neatly into the rest of her discography. It even mentions a father figure, completing the trifecta of Lana lyricism!
Sonically, the song follows nicely in the footsteps of previous tracks from the album, “Mariners Apartment Complex” and the immaculate “Venice Bitch.” Produced by Jack Antonoff, the two set the stage for a hybrid Ultraviolence/Lust for Life soundscape, with “hope” leaning much closer to the latter of the two sonic worlds. Punctuated almost entirely by sparse piano chord progressions and Del Rey’s hauntingly layered vocals, the production peddles a feeling of regret and melancholic nostalgia before reaching the climax of the song; here, the singer declares that “at best, you can see I’m not sad.” From there on, she repeats the title lyric, pushing us to believe in her the way she believes in herself.
We do, Lana. We do.