The selection of which tracks from an album are released as singles is general driven by two (oftentimes) competing considerations; do you select the songs that you believe will have commercial appeal, which will be picked up by TV and radio, driving interest and sales? Or do you go with the songs that highlight your artistry and creative intent, those songs that make a statement but perhaps capture the public’s imagination?
With the second single from her forthcoming, fifth studio album, the eponymous Lust for Life, Lana Del Rey appears to have gone with the latter consideration, as Lust for Life is the first song of Del Rey’s to feature a guest artist. Canadian singer Abel Tesfaye – known professionally as The Weeknd – shares vocal duties on the track, and this collaborative approach promises the exploration of new terrain for Del Rey on the album.
While Lust for Life opens with Del Rey’s breathy half-mumbled-half-spoken delivery, she certainly provides a strong vocal performance on the pre-chorus and, as the song progresses, Tesfaye’s smooth voice proves a wonderful complement to Del Rey’s vocals. While the lyrics definitely tend towards the repetitive, the alternating lead between Del Ray and Tesfaye, and the minimalesque electro-pop backing, maintains interest. If the album follows in the steps of the single, Lust for Life is a promising proposition.