Lana Del Rey’s voice is looming and ominous. There’s a tragic intensity to everything she sings, no matter whether it’s a heart-wrenching ballad or the happy birthday song–she can’t seem to help it. In the freshly-released “Young and Beautiful,” those qualities crystallize in what might be her most moving performance to date.
A highlight of the highly-anticipated Great Gatsby soundtrack, del Rey’s croon is elevated by haunting organs and a dark and soulful support vocal track. The songs poses the question of everlasting love, gauging its strength against the inevitable deterioration of youth. Picturing someone as striking and fresh-faced as Del Rey fearing her physical demise is somewhat ironic. Similar to the ethos of “National Anthem,” her single that features A$AP Rocky, this song bears a tone of anticipatory nostalgia. It’s as though Del Rey can’t wait to look back on her youth as an elderly woman to lament her childish grace.
When it comes to “Young and Beautiful,” take the extra care to ensure you’re listening to the orchestral version. Trust us, it’s worth it. Click here to listen to Lana Del Rey’s, “Young and Beautiful,” and see Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby in theaters on May 10 in the US and May 16 in the UK.