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Norman Fucking Rockwell - Post-Release Discussion Thread + Poll


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Poll: Norman Fucking Rockwell! (634 member(s) have cast votes)

What are your favourite tracks from NFR?

  1. Norman Fucking Rockwell (242 votes [7.23%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.23%

  2. Mariners Apartment Complex (213 votes [6.37%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.37%

  3. Venice Bitch (327 votes [9.77%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.77%

  4. Fuck It, I Love You (216 votes [6.46%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.46%

  5. Doin' Time (161 votes [4.81%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.81%

  6. Love Song (257 votes [7.68%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.68%

  7. Cinnamon Girl (351 votes [10.49%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.49%

  8. How to Disappear (130 votes [3.89%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.89%

  9. California (367 votes [10.97%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.97%

  10. The Next Best American Record (136 votes [4.06%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.06%

  11. The Greatest (308 votes [9.21%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.21%

  12. Bartender (255 votes [7.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.62%

  13. Happiness is a Butterfly (260 votes [7.77%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.77%

  14. hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have - but i have it (123 votes [3.68%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.68%

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#4621 OFFLINE   recklessdaughter

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 11:23 PM

The first time ever I listened to NFR was on FLAC files, can't get any "better" than that, and it sounded unfinished and tinny. :rip:
To each their own, but to me, NFR lacks depth, it sounds like I'm listening to Demos or like the unfinished version of an album. Some of fans here like the "organic"/unfinished approach on NFR. But personally, I don't. I don't mean to sound pretentious, but it sounds hella iffy to the audiophile that I am.


If you don’t like the full dynamic, organic soundscape, you should compress it and lower the quality, not try to improve it. That’s the problem, the quality is too high so you hear more extra sounds that don’t make it through on a lower quality. Use a flac converter and turn the flac files into mp3 or wma files (or just get the pink vinyl). Yeah, compressing it makes it kinda tinny and flat, but it’s slicker and loses the “mistakes” left in. It’ll sound more comparable to Born to Die or Paradise that way. As an audiophile, I personally prefer the more dynamic sound we got since you can almost hear right into the room. But I know this soundscape isn’t popular with everyone, and creating the illusion of being more polished and synthetic can be achieved by compressing it. It won’t sound perfect, but if you enjoy the songs and just don’t like the style of production, that’s the easiest fix. If you just don’t like the songs though, I don’t have any solutions yet. But I’m a big believer that there’s a solution for everything.
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#4622 OFFLINE   MXDH

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 11:39 PM

If you don’t like the full dynamic, organic soundscape, you should compress it and lower the quality, not try to improve it. That’s the problem, the quality is too high so you hear more extra sounds that don’t make it through on a lower quality. Use a flac converter and turn the flac files into mp3 or wma files (or just get the pink vinyl). Yeah, compressing it makes it kinda tinny and flat, but it’s slicker and loses the “mistakes” left in. It’ll sound more comparable to Born to Die or Paradise that way. As an audiophile, I personally prefer the more dynamic sound we got since you can almost hear right into the room. But I know this soundscape isn’t popular with everyone, and creating the illusion of being more polished and synthetic can be achieved by compressing it. It won’t sound perfect, but if you enjoy the songs and just don’t like the style of production, that’s the easiest fix. If you just don’t like the songs though, I don’t have any solutions yet. But I’m a big believer that there’s a solution for everything.


That's some great wishful thinking!

I agree the album as a much more organic sound than its predecessor, but this is not the type of sound that I like personally speaking. I don't actually think that the album as that top notch quality like you said, it for sure sounds more "natural" or organic like we both said, but as it turns out it sounds quite flat to my taste. There's a lack in depth I think. It just sounds flat to me, it lacks bass or percussions, also the vocal tracks on a lot of songs suffer from that too. The vocals on most track feel like they were poorly recorded and it does sound to me like they were compressed as well (cue to Lana's high note when she sings the "you" in the second pre-verse of the title track, as matter of fact the whole track was poorly recorded).

To me Honeymoon has a better sound, I've listened to all her albums on FLAC, CDs, Streaming and Vinyl, and Honeymoon has just the best sound out of all her albums, it sounds clear, it's balanced and extremely lush (maybe to the exception of High By The Beach and Freak), but as for the rest, it's crystal clear. I just don't hear that on NFR, but to each their own I suppose.
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#4623 OFFLINE   Vertimus

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 04:36 PM

That's some great wishful thinking!

I agree the album as a much more organic sound than its predecessor, but this is not the type of sound that I like personally speaking. I don't actually think that the album as that top notch quality like you said, it for sure sounds more "natural" or organic like we both said, but as it turns out it sounds quite flat to my taste. There's a lack in depth I think. It just sounds flat to me, it lacks bass or percussions, also the vocal tracks on a lot of songs suffer from that too. The vocals on most track feel like they were poorly recorded and it does sound to me like they were compressed as well (cue to Lana's high note when she sings the "you" in the second pre-verse of the title track, as matter of fact the whole track was poorly recorded).

To me Honeymoon has a better sound, I've listened to all her albums on FLAC, CDs, Streaming and Vinyl, and Honeymoon has just the best sound out of all her albums, it sounds clear, it's balanced and extremely lush (maybe to the exception of High By The Beach and Freak), but as for the rest, it's crystal clear. I just don't hear that on NFR, but to each their own I suppose.


I still don’t care for NFR as a whole, and never play it, though a few songs are okay. It’s flat and lifeless for me. Some songs, like ‘CG’ and ‘TG’ could have been so much better with just a little tweaking. It’s LDR at her most boring, persona-wise, whether that’s persona is ‘authentically Lana’ or another intentional or semi-conscious pose. I’m glad to know others feel the same way.

I was listening to R.E.M.’s great song ‘Suspicion’ this morning, and it occurred to me that something like it was what LDR was trying to create on NDR, but failed.
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#4624 OFFLINE   happinesisabutterfly

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 05:42 PM

I love the organic sound. Songs like Love Song and Happiness Is A Butterfly are even more heartbreaking.


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#4625 ONLINE   Veinsineon

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 05:49 PM

If you don’t like the full dynamic, organic soundscape, you should compress it and lower the quality, not try to improve it. That’s the problem, the quality is too high so you hear more extra sounds that don’t make it through on a lower quality. Use a flac converter and turn the flac files into mp3 or wma files (or just get the pink vinyl). Yeah, compressing it makes it kinda tinny and flat, but it’s slicker and loses the “mistakes” left in. It’ll sound more comparable to Born to Die or Paradise that way. As an audiophile, I personally prefer the more dynamic sound we got since you can almost hear right into the room. But I know this soundscape isn’t popular with everyone, and creating the illusion of being more polished and synthetic can be achieved by compressing it. It won’t sound perfect, but if you enjoy the songs and just don’t like the style of production, that’s the easiest fix. If you just don’t like the songs though, I don’t have any solutions yet. But I’m a big believer that there’s a solution for everything.

I was wondering this! Because you can hear right into the studio at some points it seems

 

Like at the end of MAC it sounds like she's saying "damn" in the studio, and at the very end of Hope extended version


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#4626 OFFLINE   MXDH

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 10:27 PM

I still don’t care for NFR as a whole, and never play it, though a few songs are okay. It’s flat and lifeless for me. Some songs, like ‘CG’ and ‘TG’ could have been so much better with just a little tweaking. It’s LDR at her most boring, persona-wise, whether that’s persona is ‘authentically Lana’ or another intentional or semi-conscious pose. I’m glad to know others feel the same way.

I was listening to R.E.M.’s great song ‘Suspicion’ this morning, and it occurred to me that something like it was what LDR was trying to create on NDR, but failed.

 

I totally get what you mean. Though I can see how and why some fans really appreciate this record. It just doesn't bring out much out of me. I still very much revere Lana's first three records as her best. They all have a very distinctive soundscape and that depth of sound that NFR is completely lacking, most songs on it don't have that climax moment or intricacy in the instrumentals to make them sound great and varied.

 

I've said this on several other posts, but the production and mastering on here is quite lackluster, it sounds flat and lifeless.  :rip:

 

Edit: That R.E.M. song is great... it's weirdly very NFR-ish, but like in a world where NFR actually sounds like a fully finished and properly produced and mastered record.


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#4627 OFFLINE   movebaby

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 11:40 PM

i admire the dedication some of you have to finding your ideal audio format for this album, but i personally would rather just go listen to something else that already sounds good without me having to make adjustments for the...questionable recording and mastering decisions


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#4628 OFFLINE   SparkleJumpropeNoose

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 11:59 PM

cant cry these tears by garbage walked so how to disappear final could crawl around aimlessly


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#4629 OFFLINE   MXDH

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 12:13 AM

i admire the dedication some of you have to finding your ideal audio format for this album, but i personally would rather just go listen to something else that already sounds good without me having to make adjustments for the...questionable recording and mastering decisions

 

You don't even have to be an audiophile to find the production/mastering of this record to be questionable, like from the first listen I already spotted details that sounded hella off and cheap, the further I listen to it, the more I find it cheap and lackluster.  :rip:

 

Thank god I don't have to pretend to like this album just because it's Lana's, can't relate to that.  :makeup:


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#4630 ONLINE   TrashMagiq

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 12:28 AM

sdjfh this "NFR's production is bad" conversation's still going


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#4631 OFFLINE   movebaby

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 12:28 AM

You don't even have to be an audiophile to find the production/mastering of this record to be questionable, like from the first listen I already spotted details that sounded hella off and cheap, the further I listen to it, the more I find it cheap and lackluster.  :rip:

 

Thank god I don't have to pretend to like this album just because it's Lana's, can't relate to that.  :makeup:

 

oh same and i really wouldn't call myself an "audiophile" in any real sense, like i care far more about the actual music than the sound quality...the instrumentation straight up sounds cheap af, like low quality digital instruments trying to replicate real ones 

 

i purposely haven't ever even gone into all my issues with it on this site lol, not even close


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#4632 OFFLINE   MXDH

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 01:11 AM

oh same and i really wouldn't call myself an "audiophile" in any real sense, like i care far more about the actual music than the sound quality...the instrumentation straight up sounds cheap af, like low quality digital instruments trying to replicate real ones 

 

i purposely haven't ever even gone into all my issues with it on this site lol, not even close

 

Exactly.

 

Do tell, please  :hooker:

 

sdjfh this "NFR's production is bad" conversation's still going

 

Yup, it's not like there's much to talk about, like the album is no longer charting (or up there anyway) and like people outside of this fandom have already forgotten about it. Besides this and Lana seemingly recycling her setlist, showing up late and dating the c*p... there's not much going on  :creep:


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#4633 OFFLINE   SouthInGuy

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 02:25 AM

I was listening the unreleased songs in the car on my drive home today and my dumb ass had completely forgotten about the Cinnamon Girl line in Summer of Sam...  :facepalm:


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#4634 OFFLINE   itsTrigonometry

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 03:57 AM

 

Yup, it's not like there's much to talk about, like the album is no longer charting (or up there anyway) and like people outside of this fandom have already forgotten about it. Besides this and Lana seemingly recycling her setlist... there's not much going on  :creep:

 oof.. this tea 


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#4635 OFFLINE   movebaby

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 04:27 AM

Do tell, please  :hooker:

 

lmaooo alright, i will once i get a hot minute to verbalize all my thoughts 


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#4636 OFFLINE   Vertimus

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 03:39 PM

I totally get what you mean. Though I can see how and why some fans really appreciate this record. It just doesn't bring out much out of me. I still very much revere Lana's first three records as her best. They all have a very distinctive soundscape and that depth of sound that NFR is completely lacking, most songs on it don't have that climax moment or intricacy in the instrumentals to make them sound great and varied.

I've said this on several other posts, but the production and mastering on here is quite lackluster, it sounds flat and lifeless. :rip:

Edit: That R.E.M. song is great... it's weirdly very NFR-ish, but like in a world where NFR actually sounds like a fully finished and properly produced and mastered record.


Full agree with everything you’ve said here. LDR’s best music on the first three albums was visionary, confident, poised and dramatic/melodramatic...whatever it was, when it worked, it really worked (for me, ‘Paradise’ is the best). I have seen spurts of that same power on HM and LFL, but even the best/better songs on NFR are depthless, empty and hollow. There’s no emotional subtext or underlying reverberations. After you listen to them a few times, they feel used-up and dead.

So it’s sad to me that LDR seems to think these are among the best she’s written. In terms of songwriting and performance, I will take ‘Yayo,’ ‘Ride,’ and ‘Old Money’ over anything on NFR any day. And certainly something as
scalding and unruly as the original version of ‘Live or Die.’

I don’t see anything special about Looking For America.’ Anyone, probably any one of us, could have written it. It’s a very modest little B-side at best. Just because a song arises from a tragedy, or is protest song, doesn’t make it inherently good as a song, or interesting. Since the 1950s, many people have confused the quality of the song with the nature of the problem or tragedy, which is a big mistake.

Yes, ‘Suspicion’ is an under-appreciated and relatively obscure R.E.M. track, and, as you’ve suggested, it has all the mood, depth, subtly and ambiguity that everything on NFR lacks. It’s fully realized, whereas as NFR is largely half-baked.
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#4637 OFFLINE   MXDH

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 05:17 PM

Full agree with everything you’ve said here. LDR’s best music on the first three albums was visionary, confident, poised and dramatic/melodramatic...whatever it was, when it worked, it really worked (for me, ‘Paradise’ is the best). I have seen spurts of that same power on HM and LFL, but even the best/better songs on NFR are depthless, empty and hollow. There’s no emotional subtext or underlying reverberations. After you listen to them a few times, they feel used-up and dead.

So it’s sad to me that LDR seems to think these are among the best she’s written. In terms of songwriting and performance, I will take ‘Yayo,’ ‘Ride,’ and ‘Old Money’ over anything on NFR any day. And certainly something as
scalding and unruly as the original version of ‘Live or Die.’

I don’t see anything special about Looking For America.’ Anyone, probably any one of us, could have written it. It’s a very modest little B-side at best. Just because a song arises from a tragedy, or is protest song, doesn’t make it inherently good as a song, or interesting. Since the 1950s, many people have confused the quality of the song with the nature of the problem or tragedy, which is a big mistake.

Yes, ‘Suspicion’ is an under-appreciated and relatively obscure R.E.M. track, and, as you’ve suggested, it has all the mood, depth, subtly and ambiguity that everything on NFR lacks. It’s fully realized, whereas as NFR is largely half-baked.

 

This is exactly how I feel about the album, I think Lana would probably not like me using this term, but to me NFR is uncooked.

 

I cannot stand hot flat and lifeless the production and mastering are on this record. We could argue that this was an artistic decision on her part, to make the record sound more "rough to the touch", and I think that it may be it, but it's just not the type of sound that I actually like, it just sounds lackluster to me. I'm still not over how unbelievably tinny the piano sound on this record... and also how dry the guitar come off.

 

I think you've mentioned it in a previous comment, but like The greatest, one of the great songs on this record, it just lacks that climax moment. I very much feel that. Also, I don't like how the vocals sound just super muffled and flat all at once (and also Lana's enunciation here too). To me, after the first chorus, the instrumentation should've pop off and climax, but it just lacks intensity... and that's not just on this particular song, most songs on the record suffer from that in my opinion.

 

I fully agree with your views on Looking for America, I've personally listened to the song just a few times... it's one of those songs on which I really appreciate the message, but it doesn't make me appreciate the song for a song, if that make sense. Same thing goes for Hope. Love the lyricism, but the song itself is quite dull to me (sorry).

 

There used to be a distinct vision on her records, but NFR it feels quite unfinished I find. The last great Lana songs that I've really enjoyed was Get Free if I'm being completely honest. I honestly try to listen to NFR in its entirety from time to time, but I just cannot get into it. I never thought I would use this word to describe Lana's music with this word, but it's quite boring. I didn't like Lust for Life, and still very much consider it to be my least favourite album, but looking back I can definitely pin points aspects that she did better on it, than on NFR


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#4638 OFFLINE   Ivory Cricket

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 05:26 PM

I was listening the unreleased songs in the car on my drive home today and my dumb ass had completely forgotten about the Cinnamon Girl line in Summer of Sam...  :facepalm:

Or the "Hollywood and Vine" line in Every Man Gets His Wish


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#4639 OFFLINE   Vertimus

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 08:32 PM

This is exactly how I feel about the album, I think Lana would probably not like me using this term, but to me NFR is uncooked.

I cannot stand hot flat and lifeless the production and mastering are on this record. We could argue that this was an artistic decision on her part, to make the record sound more "rough to the touch", and I think that it may be it, but it's just not the type of sound that I actually like, it just sounds lackluster to me. I'm still not over how unbelievably tinny the piano sound on this record... and also how dry the guitar come off.

I think you've mentioned it in a previous comment, but like The greatest, one of the great songs on this record, it just lacks that climax moment. I very much feel that. Also, I don't like how the vocals sound just super muffled and flat all at once (and also Lana's enunciation here too). To me, after the first chorus, the instrumentation should've pop off and climax, but it just lacks intensity... and that's not just on this particular song, most songs on the record suffer from that in my opinion.

I fully agree with your views on Looking for America, I've personally listened to the song just a few times... it's one of those songs on which I really appreciate the message, but it doesn't make me appreciate the song for a song, if that make sense. Same thing goes for Hope. Love the lyricism, but the song itself is quite dull to me (sorry).

There used to be a distinct vision on her records, but NFR it feels quite unfinished I find. The last great Lana songs that I've really enjoyed was Get Free if I'm being completely honest. I honestly try to listen to NFR in its entirety from time to time, but I just cannot get into it. I never thought I would use this word to describe Lana's music with this word, but it's quite boring. I didn't like Lust for Life, and still very much consider it to be my least favourite album, but looking back I can definitely pin points aspects that she did better on it, than on NFR.

I think ‘The Greatest‘ should have returned to the refrain once more after the instrumental section...but that wouldn’t have given it the same ‘artistic credibility’ it is credited with by critics having the slow fade instead.

I agree the record is boring: that’s exactly right. There’s not a lot of ideas present and so it all seems rather ho-hum. Where would VB have been without Jack’s long long outro?? ‘Love Song’ and ‘California’ are things she could have written in her sleep. I certainly can’t take HIAB seriously, that with the serial killer section mashed in.

I definitely prefer LFL to NFR, as at least some tracks have the verve, vision and originality of her earlier work, though clearly she had begun repeating herself with tracks like ‘Cherry.’

I agree with you about the production and engineering on NFR. Why it is the way it is is another matter, and whether it’s that way by intent, accident or a combination of both, I assume we’ll never know.

I feel like the LDR that I fell in love with is receding and disappearing more and more all the time, and probably never really existed, a la ‘Vertigo.’ THAT LDR interested me, the subsequent LDR(s) interest less and less.
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#4640 OFFLINE   MXDH

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 09:22 PM

I think ‘The Greatest‘ should have returned to the refrain once more after the instrumental section...but that wouldn’t have given it the same ‘artistic credibility’ it is credited with by critics having the slow fade instead.

I agree the record is boring: that’s exactly right. There’s not a lot of ideas present and so it all seems rather ho-hum. Where would VB have been without Jack’s long long outro?? ‘Love Song’ and ‘California’ are thinks she could have written in her sleep. I certainly can’t take HIAB seriously, that with the serial killer section mashed in.

I definitely prefer LFL to NFR, as at least some tracks have the verve, vision and originality of her earlier work, though clearly she had begun repeating herself with tracks like ‘Cherry.’

I agree with you about the production and engineering on NFR. Why it is the way it is is another matter, and whether it’s that way by intent, accident or a combination of both, I assume we’ll never know.

I feel like the LDR that I fell in love with is receding and disappearing more and more all the time, and probably never really existed, a la ‘Vertigo.’ THAT LDR interested me, the subsequent LDR(s) interest less and less.

 

The greatest would've been better if the instrumentals were more intense and balanced, it sounds like a high school band at some point I swear. Also, the vocal mixing (much like the rest of the record) is atrociously flat. I would honestly like to have a talk with the people that were responsible for the engineering and mastering of this album, they can't possibly be serious.

 

To me HIAB could've been a better song had it been more lyrically consistent. I've been saying this for months, but it feels like she mish-mashed three different songs together. I still can't get over her sticking to the "babies on the tour lyfe lyrics", it's incredibly dreary and cheesy on her part. I don't mind the serial killer part as it's the best part of the song I think, I wish the whole song was about that, would've been more cohesive lyrically.

 

The thing about VB is that I feel like the long hazy musical outro basically beefs up what is in fact a pretty simple and, sorry, weak song. I feel like just because it's almost ten minutes long, people act like it's somewhat of a masterpiece and it's a revolutionary song. I personally like the song, but the outro is quite weak to me and has that flat/dry tone that a lot of song on this record have. Sounds more like Jack fucking with his guitar than something sonically cohesive or interesting to listen to. I know it might sound silly, but I feel like it was Lana and Jack's attempt at recreating a longer song à la Pink Floyd's Shine On You Crazy Diamond, long instrumental intro/outro with a short lyrical bit. But the Pink Floyd track is actually well executed and very atmospheric, which VB is not in my humble opinion.

 

I feel like Lana is trying to get away from what actually made her different and more interesting than her contemporaries. She used to have such a strong and clear vision, very dramatic/melodramatic like you said before. But now I feel like she wants to bland in. She has the right to do what she wants. But as a listener and a fan, I also have the right to feel like her changing lanes and going into this "wannabe vagabond poet/Valley girl folk singer" road, is much less interesting. 


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