(Gina Faldetta)– Lana del Rey released her fourth studio album, Honeymoon, last week, just in time to out-Lana the latest Taylor Swift single, “Wildest Dreams.” It also came out just in time to welcome us into the real swing of the school year. Add-drop has ended and we’re back to negotiating the hundreds of pages of reading we have to do each week, as well as dealing with whoever “forgot” to text us back, or wrote a mean article about us, or whatever. The Amherst College struggle has begun, and I know it well. So, here’s your #sadgirl music roundup.
I’d be hard-pressed to say much about Honeymoon, because like all Lana del Rey albums, it’s like all Lana del Rey albums. Some of the songs are incredibly forgettable, but there are a few gems, like “High By The Beach” (which thankfully came out as a single this summer), and “Religion,” which might make you feel some type of way if you like to be dramatic about your own love life. There are fewer lyrical delights than her last album, which included a song actually titled “Sad Girl,” but del Rey doesn’t disappoint with the level of warbling angst she brings to the album. Good music for wearing a lot of clumpy mascara, drinking a glass of red wine, and thinking about your loves lost.
If you’re trying to turn up, but still in a Sad Girl way, you’ll have more luck with Melanie Martinez’s Cry Baby, which came out in August. Every single song on the album lives up to the “baby” part of the title – with names like “Sippy Cup” and “Play Date.” She also incorporates children’s schoolyard rhymes into her songs. If you don’t find that theme insipid, you might just appreciate the goth-pop nature of this album. Her music is at once eerie, bubbly, catchy, and whiny in a relatable way.
“Pity Party,” a reworking of Leslie Gore’s iconic “It’s My Party,” is addictive in its sickly-sweet self-indulgence. Similarly, “Cry Baby” simultaneously mocks and defends the behavior it’s named for, with lyrics like, “you’re one of a kind and no one understands / but those crybaby tears keep coming back again” and “I have the same faucet in my eyes / so your tears are mine.” Complete with songs about plastic surgery culture (“Mrs. Potato Head”) and having a psycho stalker/ex (“Tag, you’re it” and “Teddy Bear”), this album is a perfect listen for being equal parts self-pitying and winkingly self-aware about your sadness. Mood music for that moment when your mascara is running from crying but you’re still drinking champagne.
Finally, for the Sad Girl who is no longer trying to be sad, meet your new best friend: Selena Gomez. She and I became best friends the first time I heard the voiceover at the beginning of the video for “The Heart Wants What It Wants.” I not-so-secretly love her vocally unchallenging pop music – it’s unfailing fun and relatable. And thanks to Justin Bieber, Gomez knows about boy problems better than anyone, which I say makes her part of the Sad Girls Club. But she’s moving on – thanks, “Same Old Love.” According to this song, which was co-written by Charli XCX (it comes across in the backing vocals), she was “left in pieces,” but she’s over it, and “so sick of that same old love / the kind that breaks your heart.” It’s the perfect song to listen to as you wipe the mascara tears from your face and re-apply that shit.