The Interview Editors Review Norman Fucking Rockwell!

Published August 30, 2019

Norman Fucking Rockwell! is officially here, and Lana Del Rey is back with a new album, some instantly iconic album artwork, and even more videos of her wandering around Los Angeles. NFR! is packed with your standard Del Rey selection ballads, reminiscing on love lost and love found, Kanye West’s hair, California, and, naturally, climate change. It seems Del Rey is keeping her momentum going, having recently announced that she’s already working on her next project. So what’s to make of this brave, new era? While some are waiting for the perfect bungalow moment to listen, early reactions within the Interview office ranged from the euphoric, to the apathetic, to the phlegmatic. After all, she’s our “Venice Bitch,” our die-hard, our weakness–could she save us from our sins? Here, our editors share their thoughts on Del Rey’s latest record.

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MEL OTTENBERG, CREATIVE DIRECTOR

“I already have enough to say on ‘The greatest.’ I love the ‘Doin’ Time’ video. But it’s all about ‘The greatest’!”

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MEGAN WRAY SCHERTLER, MANAGING EDITOR

“I’m sorry, but I am exclusively listening to Miley Cyrus’s ‘Slide Away’ so I cannot listen to this right now.”

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ERNEST MACIAS, EDITORIAL ASSISTANT

“LDR has taken me on many journeys—from alt-pop girlie with a penchant for flower crowns to groupie with drug problems searching for love—but when I listened to ‘Fuck it i love you’ from NFR!, it just hit me differently. Turns out Lana’s life, just like mine, is messy, exhilarating, and slowly killing her–’Maybe the way that I’m living is killing me.’ At least we’ll die together—young and beautiful.”

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SARAH NECHAMKIN, ONLINE EDITOR

“Rock n’ roll is dead. The world is on fire. Gentrification is chipping away at our cultural mythologies, and teeangers do more to save the planet than the people/demons currently in office. This is the Americana canvas on which Norman Fucking Rockwell! is painted, and yet, somehow, the album feels more cathartic than tragic, like a cool autumn breeze drifting into late summer, or the subtle wave of relief that settles in after the visceral anger/confusion/regret/grief/denial of a breakup settles. I was lucky enough to receive the gift of NFR! amidst an emotional hangover, and the album gave me everything I could need: the titular track, ‘Norman fucking Rockwell,’ is the two Advils; ‘The greatest’ is the leftover pad thai; ‘Mariner’s Apartment Complex’ is the Catfish binge (don’t judge me). Or maybe it’s all just one heaping dollop of sun-dripped nostalgia and nightgowns and a reluctant drive toward hope. Isn’t that what any kind of hangover is about?”

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JACK VHAY, DESIGNER

“Originally, I was miffed that Lana didn’t release Norman Fucking Rockwell! in spring. I’m very over that now. It’s the perfect summer-into-fall transitional album. I’m envisioning walking home from the subway, it’s evening, temp in the high 50s/low 60s, ‘Love song’ or ‘The greatest’ is playing, I’m enveloped in a cable-knit wool sweater. Personal highlights: ‘Love song,’ ‘The greatest,’ ‘The Next Best American Record,’ ‘Cinnamon Girl,’ ‘Happiness is a butterfly,’ ‘Mariners Apartment Complex,’ ‘hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but I have it.’

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OLIVER SHAW, EDITORIAL INTERN

“I’ve never been a huge fan, but ‘Venice Bitch’ is undeniable. I’m impressed. It didn’t feel half as long as it is.”

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MARK BURGER, DIGITAL EDITORIAL ASSISTANT

“Remember when ‘Venice Bitch’ came out and she said, ‘You know what–you’re going to listen to this 9-minute song about me driving around Southern California, and you’re going to like it’? She was right. Going from ‘Love song’ into ‘Cinnamon Girl’ changed me as a person. The bonkers selective capitalization? Her mind! What is there to say? Sad Girl Autumn is here. Lana Del Rey is going to save the world.”