I am head over heels for Lana Del Rey’s newest single, “Love.” Combining all of my favorite topics and elements, the song is all that I could have hoped for from her, but her music video for the track is even more spellbinding and iconic than the song itself.
The video begins with a continuously zooming-in shot of Del Rey singing on stage. The gritty black and white film paired with her retro lace dress and flowered tresses are a classic page right out of the Lana Del Rey guidebook. She sways back and forth as the slow, mellow music kicks in, her expression its constant mix of dissatisfaction and demure.
Soon, the psychedelic imagery sets in—simmering shots of marijuana smoke wafting up from an ashtray and long-forgotten glasses of alcohol fade in and out as the featured teenage couples of the video are introduced. Del Rey sings, “You get ready, you get all dressed up / To go nowhere in particular / Back to work or the coffee shop / Doesn’t matter cause it’s enough / To be young and in love,” as the clips weave in and out of several romantic storylines. One couple fixes their car together and then hops in happily. Another shares a meal full of laughter and then a stroll on the beach. The next takes a drive along the boardwalk in the late afternoon awash in golden glow—all of which are set in the ’70s.
The couples are then pictured in the audience of Del Rey’s concert, listening intently to her sing about their generation: “Look at you kids, you know you’re the coolest / The world is yours and you can’t refuse it.” Sitting in their seats, they watch as Del Rey’s eyes light up with stars and the celestial component—what made me fall in love—takes hold of the video.
As Del Rey’s eyes shine bright with stardust, the dome of the theater becomes a planetarium of sorts, depicting the universe and all of the beauty within it. The couples look up in dazed wonderment and awe at the transformation right before they begin floating through space in their Vista Cruisers and vintage Cadillacs. As each car and pick-up truck twists and barrels through the space around the Moon approaching other interstellar objects, Del Rey’s silky voice narrates their travels. She, in concert, is also appearing more and more in color with every shot—illustrating a rejuvenation through love.
One distinctly cool image is of a girl with her eyes shut and smile content as she floats near the Moon with her skateboard, headphones, Walkman, and tapes floating around her—an image of pure bliss. Mixed with these serene scenes are those of Del Rey smiling and happily singing her song, instead of crooning in black and white.
It is then revealed that Del Rey and her band are actually performing on the surface of the moon. She playfully winks and snaps her fingers as some of the cars dangerously approach the Sun and head for Jupiter. Suddenly, the couples are all piled into a boat, speeding across the ocean of an unnamed planet, swimming and splashing around while they gaze above at the comets falling across the sky.
Taking in the immense and astounding surroundings, viewers watch expansive views of the couples roam around the planet, circle one another in space, and kiss to the celestial setting. All of these teens are reveling in the fantastical universe of limitless love and opportunities.
Looking back, the entire storyline of the video revolves around a drug-induced trip that these teens take while watching Del Rey in concert but it speaks to reality as well. Love provides an escape from reality. Love is both an adventure and a safe haven. Love is out of this world and also extremely mundane. Love can be fleeting and momentary, like this trip, or everlasting and monumental, like the way it makes you feel—like you’re floating through time and space among the planets and the stars.
Love knows no boundaries or limits. Del Rey illustrated that even the sky is not the limit for love. Love knows no judgement or prejudice. Sometimes, in the midst of confusion and loss and youth angst and anger, it’s love that lets you know there’s a brighter future on the way. As Del Rey sings, “It doesn’t matter if I’m not enough / For the future or the things to come / ‘Cause I’m young and in love.”
Featured Image By Interscope Records