If there were ever a chanteuse born to
die sing a song about old-fashioned American decadence, nostalgia and burning desire for the soundtrack of the upcoming Baz Luhrmann-directed The Great Gatsby, it’d be Queen Lana Del Rey.
The Rick Nowels co-crafted Gatsby theme song, “Young & Beautiful,” first hit our ears when she sang a few beautiful bars during an Italian radio interview. Now, after teasing us with a 30-second snippet on the soundtrack trailer, the full “Young & Beautiful” finally hit the net today—and it’s absolutely stunning.
Like her majestic 2012 Paradise single “Ride,” the song slowly glides into the speakers with a haunting hum as only Del Rey could provide. And from there, it’s got all the makings of a signature Del Rey smash: Slow-soldiering drums, ethereal orchestral strings, shiver-inducing vocals. “I’ve seen it all, done it all/Had my cake now,” she croons.
Lana’s music has always had a cinematic quality, and this track’s certainly no exception: It’s haunting, romantic and emotionally devastating all at once. And of course, she’s still got her bad baby by her heavenly side: “Dear Lord, when I get to Heaven, please let me bring my man/When he comes, tell me that you’ll let him in,” Lana begs on the soaring bridge. “He’s my sun, he makes me shine like diamonds.”
The accompanying video will be released tomorrow and, even better, the song will be used as album’s lead single. Could we finally hear Lana on the radio? Now that would be sweet like cinnamon, like a fuckin’ dream I’m livin’ in…
But really, What more could possibly be said about “Young & Beautiful”? It’s complete and utter perfection. Devoid of flaw. Lana quite literally drove her 1981 Mercedes convertible to the Flaws Bank of America, put her card in the ATM, and got an error message that read “Sorry, there are no remaining flaws available in your account.”
Listen and sob.
“Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful?”
UPDATE: And now, the heavenly orchestral version too: