Premiering as the Hottest Record in the World on MistaJam’s Radio One show, Lust for Life is the crooning title track from the American singer’s upcoming LP.
Following on from the grandiose lead single Love, Lust for Life is a similarly epic affair. Starting off with the sultry sing-talking we have come to expect from Lana, the song progresses to a noir-ish bridge that is both cinematically uplifting and heartbreakingly sad.
Then comes arguably the year’s most sensual chorus. As Del Rey repeatedly implores her lover to “take off all your clothes” with typical, ethereal beauty, Tesfaye responds with the silky falsetto that he does best, reminding us that “only the good die young”. Thematically, we are in familiar territory here, but when the results are this good, does it really matter?
This is the fourth major collaboration between the two artists, and it easily equals the calibre set by last year’s seminal Stargirl Interlude (112 seconds of sheer musical ecstasy). The chemistry is something that only strengthens with repeated collaborations, and the sultry interplay between the two should ensure that the song cements its place on numerous playlists in the weeks to come.
When I read that Swedish hit-maker, Max Martin was consulted in the production of this track, I was wary that we were headed in a similar direction to 2015’s disappointing High by The Beach (which could not have been begging more for Top-40 airplay if it tried). However, his fingerprints are thankfully absent from the finished product, and apparently, he can be thanked for the employment of Lana’s simple refrain (originally a verse) as the chorus.
Criticism of Del Rey in the past has concerned the exploitation of her “lost girl” persona, and excessive melodrama. In an era where manufactured pop stars and DIY house DJs dominate the airwaves, I find it somewhat refreshing to have a musician who is unafraid to wallow in nostalgia and unabashedly stick a middle finger up to musical trends. While this newest effort will do nothing to confound her critics, it should certainly satisfy her ever-devoted fan base who, like me, wait with bated breath for the new album. If the two tracks released so far are anything to go by, it’s going to be an absolute corker.