Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Lana Del Rey: Chemtrails Over the Country Club [Polydor/Interscope, 2021]
As an LDR agnostic who's felt uneasy about failing to find the so-called NFR! a masterpiece or LDR sexually alluring as ice queen, hot number, intellectual, or any combination of same, I was delighted to be humming in my head before I'd gotten through this Jack Antonoff production twice. Hooks are far more plentiful here than on most LDR albums, the Antonoff-fueled NFR! included, and unusual ones at that. My favorite is "Down in the Men in Music Business Conference" (FYI there is no such thing--with that literal a name, anyway). Runner-up: "We did it for fun/We did it for free/I did it for you/You did if for me"--and then, right on time, "We did it for the right reasons." But also "I left Calabasas, escaped all the ashes" and "I'm coverin' Joni and I'm dancin' with Joan/Stevie is callin' on the telephone" and "Breakin' up slowly is a hard thing to do" and "I don't wanna live with a life of regret/I don't want to end up like Tammy Wynette." Now that she's connected A-list name-dropping to a love life normal humans can recognize, I can see where guys and gals might get off imagining a dreamy soprano "wearin' the same damn clothes forthree damn days" because "Lincoln, Nebraska got me in a haze." But the humming in my head thing is what matters to me. A-