‘Chemtrails Over the Country Club’ Squanders Its Potential

Abi Zajac, Opinion Editor

“Chemtrails Over The Countryclub” is disappointingly unoriginal.

Lana Del Ray’s new album does not deliver the same quality as her last album, “Norman F**king Rockwell,” which is unexpected, considering she worked with Grammy-winning writer and producer Jack Antonoff who produced her previous record.

It’s upsetting to see her reach for clichés and repetitive choruses when the imagery on Norman Rockwell was so gripping and unique.

She sings “not all those who wander are lost,” in an ear-itching falsetto choir on a track of the same name seemingly a million times. Singing of “wanderlust” is not original or interesting compared to  “Cinnamon Girl”on “Norman F**king Rockwell,” with a chorus of “But if you hold me without hurting me/ You’ll be the first who ever did.”

The black and white aesthetic set to moody vocals and plain piano just doesn’t spark my senses like Norman Rockwell’s vibrant lyrics and strings. While it might be harder to draw inspiration during a pandemic, Rey did not have to put out another record; more time might have helped this album develop into something noteworthy.

For example, if Rey had sat on the lyrics “when I was a waitress wearing a white dress,” she could have come up with some more interesting alliteration for her opening track.

Some of the tracks just feel offensive. In “Let Me Love You Like A Woman,” she sings “Let me love you like a woman/ Let me hold you like a baby,” which seems caring and maternal at first glance, but put in the context that she’s singing to her adult romantic partner and saying this role is “who she’s meant to be” it perpetuates the stereotype that women are meant to be caretakers of their husbands and boyfriends, treating them like children.

In this same track she makes a point that being “who she’s meant to be” consists of being tied to a romantic partner and staying in L.A., even though that’s not where she’s happy, which doesn’t seem like a positive message for women’s history month.

Feminist cons aside, I found some highlights in “Chemtrails Over the Country Club,” like Nikki Lane’s backing vocals in “Breaking Up Slowly” and Antonoff’s trademark brass in the background of “Dance Till We Die.” Rey’s dreamy repetitive outros were expected, but still as delightful as ever and made me feel like I was in a dream sequence of an old movie.

These snippets give a glimpse of what the album could’ve been; the potential it had to be gripping and graceful, bluesy and moody, vintage and chic, but sadly they are only small parts of the record and will forever be overshadowed by unoriginal and uninteresting vocals and lyrics.