It's not a surprise that Lana del Rey's newest single is about love.
But instead of gravitating towards the sensual, melancholy-heavy sound of 2013’s Born To Die, “Love” is delicately suffused with nostalgia and sweeter, more tender emotions.
Lana swaps out the chorusing violins that featured prominently in both “Born to Die” and “Dark Paradise,” replacing them with a steady, gently bobbing beat and airy, rustling background noises, which emphasize the unhurried tone and dreamy atmosphere of the track. Wispy, ethereal electronics further add to the softness of the song overall.
Like most of her work, “Love” has a distinctly cinematic sound to it; it’s easy to picture it playing over a scene from the 2013 film adaption of “The Great Gatsby,” which featured her “Young and Beautiful.” Something about the effortless breathiness of her voice as she reaches for higher timbres and the candid, buoyant innocence of the lyrics (“It doesn't matter if I'm not enough / For the future or the things to come / 'Cause I'm young and in love”) perfectly captures the essence of young love. Even if the listener hasn’t experienced it, “Love” encourages imagination, nudging us to let loose and take advantage of the possibilities available to us while we still can.
But “Love” isn’t merely about the freedom and naivete of the emotion; it’s also a song of admiration for those who are still able to experience love’s carefree nature.
“Look at you kids with your vintage music / Comin' through satellites while cruisin' / You're part of the past, but now you're the future,” Lana coos in the first stanza, a hint of motherly pride unmistakable in her voice.
Even as the piece builds into a sweeping crescendo, it never loses any of the lush luminosity that keeps it fresh. At its most intense, the song glides with a sugary, carefree melodiousness — but at every end it’s purposed.