Shannen Marie Hansen
Desperation, is at times, an element that draws our hearts like a magnet to the source. It tends to reach into a place where sleeping strengths lie and, like the lioness, or maybe Iggy Pop circa 1990, a hyper-bold energy surges from us and we are ready to experience the range of emotions the wiser of us would block out.
“Let Me Love You Like a Woman,” released 17 months ago as the lead single to Lana Del Rey’s seventh studio album, Chemtrails Over the Country Club, is an emotional plug-in, a tear-jerker if you’d let it, a Shakespearean sonnet mixed with a John “Cougar” Mellencamp or Bruce Springsteen Americana anthem, from a woman’s perspective.
I come from a small town, how about you? I only mention it ‘cause I’m ready to leave LA, and I want you to come. 80 miles north or south will do.
It seems like just yesterday that Lana arrived in LA and wrote the song “Radio”, which sang, Now I’m in LA and it’s paradise, I’ve finally found you. However, while I only discovered the song, a hit off her first album Born To Die, a year ago, it was released 14 years ago in 2012.
That given, maybe it is time that she escapes the pressures, parties and assured mayhem of being one of the biggest female artists of the decade, and, like those before her, retreat to the country where she can continue to mine her heart for gold.
Artists, especially the song-writer, are well acquainted with mining their hearts for material. Lana tells BBC.com that when writing the song, “Get Free,” from her fifth album Lust for Life, that she rewrote the context of the song.
She first realized the song as a personal summary of her life over a six-year period. Then, wise to the reaction the truth of the song would illicit, she changed the perspective on the subject and reimagined it as something less pointed and obvious. Having the previous version “out of my system,” she began again, completely erasing the prior work. Like a real artist, she is able to withhold her own personality and edit herself.
Let me shine like a diamond, let me who I’m meant to be.
Perhaps this leads her to a feeling of masking, and of running away. The idea of being who we are supposed to be, a perfect Hollywood starlit. A person without desperation and constant pressure which mutates her into a persona, stealing some of her more simplistic and honest faces. Ironically, her face and the alleged alterations to it, has been a subject of controversy in the past, one that I am glad has quieted down.
Let me love you like a woman, let me hold you like a baby.
The voice of this song, its reference to diamonds, to infinity, to being held, cradles me and gives me strength. It bares the mark of a good song; I sing along with it. Not because my voice will sound like hers, but because to do so elevates me.
Don’t make me be bittersweet. Let me take you to infinity.
Ok, Lana. I’ll go with you.