Have you accepted Lana Del Rey as your lord and saviour? Whether or not you have, you may have heard of a certain Elizabeth Woolridge Grant, the reigning queen of nostalgia who has flawlessly chronicled the breadth of feelings surrounding a few of our favorite things – money, obsessive love, rock n’ roll, music festivals, and casual drug use.
As we gear up to receive her fourth studio album, Lust For Life, we have taken it upon ourselves to rank her top 20 tracks – a task that has proven itself larger than Lana’s hair circa 2011, as her twisted all-American ethos is perfectly distilled in all her songs – more often than not mini epics in and of themselves.
Gather your finest hydroponic weed, put on your heart-shaped sunglasses, and dig into our ranking of the 20 best Lana Del Rey songs.
20. “Lust For Life”
The Weeknd-featuring title track to Lana’s fourth album references the infamous 1920s suicide of an aspiring young starlet. Peg Entwistle climbed up the H of the Hollywood sign and jumped off, a true story which just so happens to be peak dark, nostalgic Lana.
19. “Gods and Monsters”
Dark but ultimately triumphant, Lana digs deep into her then-newfound Hollywood existence, trying to make sense of it all while referencing the Bible and Jim Morrison.
18. “Sad Girl”
This anthem for all the side chicks out there features the Del Rey classic combo of being depressed, having money, and being hopelessly in love.
17. “Pretty When You Cry”
This dreamy ballad is the pinnacle of #sadgirl Lana, evoking visions of the chanteuse performing the song to a depressing, mostly empty biker bar on the side of a highway. The wailing guitar solo at the end is pretty banging, too.
16. “Summer Bummer”
With her voice as humid and heavy as an American summer, Lana enlists both Playboi Carti and A$AP Rocky in what could be considered the unofficial sequel to “Summertime Sadness.”
Lana is sickeningly “sweet like cinnamon” on this Born To Die jam, confronting her haters yet again with a “how do you like me now?”
14. “Young and Beautiful”
Two fun facts about this heartbreaking ballad:
1. It was created for the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.
2. Kanye specifically requested the song to serenade Kim by Lana herself at the couple’s wedding.
13. “Florida Kilos”
Only Lana could make dealing drugs sound as homey as baking cookies, and Florida sound even remotely appealing. The chorus is infectious with its repeated “yayo” and the production is absolutely sick with breezy guitar and the occasional steel drum.
The first single from Lust For Life has Lana addressing her fans in a surprisingly upbeat mood. Setting the scene for her new album, Lana channels Summer of Love vibes in the song’s music video with flowers in her hair and a casual ride to outer space in a pickup truck.
Is there a song opener more iconic than “My pussy tastes like Pepsi Cola”? I think not.
10. “Brooklyn Baby”
A genius parody of too-cool-for-school hipsters that probably dismissed Lana early in her career and a nod to her early days singing at Williamsburg open mics, “Brooklyn Baby” features some low-key scatting and the wonderful lyrics “I get high on hydroponic weed.”
9. “West Coast”
““West Coast” is indebted to Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks with Lana’s channelling of ethereal 70s rock goddess vibes. The track flawlessly transitions in and out of classic rock hook and swaying, slow jam.
8. “Blue Jeans”
Lana’s impressive follow up to “Video Games” is an American-as-apple-pie ode to obsessive love.
Dramatic swelling strings and the dark trappy-ness that characterises much of Honeymoon are front and center on “Freak.” It’s also got haunting layered vocals and subtly stunning saxophone vibes.
6. “Born To Die”
The cinematic opening to her debut album explores love and death, blending orchestral drama with swaying hip-hop beats.
5. “Fucked My Way Up To The Top”
Another amazing, over-the-top, sarcastic jab at her haters, Lana allegedly disses Lady Gaga for simulateneous stealing her steez and saying she’s not authentic.
4. “Summertime Sadness”
The epic “Summertime Sadness” is another early example of Lana driving down her own pop music lane, paved with glamourous melancholy instead of the requisite blind optimism. Does this not drift in your head every time you’re not oozing with job in sunny weather?
3. “National Anthem”
Opening with what we can only assume are Fourth of July fireworks and the lyrics “money is the anthem of success,” this classic is peak Americana Lana, and the only national anthem we will ever stand behind.
2. “Video Games”
Although Lana didn’t think this song would be the one that people would respond to, “Video Games” was her breakout hit. Lana created the accompanying visual collage herself, the nostalgia-inducing montage an ideal complement to magical harps and somber chords.
1. “High By The Beach”
For all her over-the-top All-American Lolita ridiculousness that we know and love her for, Lana occasionally throws us some indication that she’s down to earth. Enter sunny nihilist stoner anthem, “High By The Beach,” her greatest song ever (for now).
Ahead of its release, read why ‘Lust For Life’ is already a game changer right here.
- Cover Image: Paris Match