“It’s a love story for the new age” Lana coos on 'National Anthem', her fifth official single from one of my favourite albums this year Born To Die. With Del Rey unveiling the clip for the standout track earlier today, the aforementioned lyric couldn’t be more apparent throughout its 7 minute 40 second star spangled love telling.
The video adopts the same style that the throwback starlet has let flow through her short-yet-controversial career; a sweet and sunny late 1950s/early 60s vibe with a tinge of 2012. In fact, it is filmed entirely to capture the feel of a short 'Super 8' home video. 'National Anthem' opens with Del Rey dressed in an evening gown approaching a podium to serenade the President in a very Monroe-esque manner (also used as the single artwork), possibly setting up that she will annoy everyone by portraying the role of the doomed actress throughout the video. Au contraire, as Lana chooses to emulate the classic first wife Jackie Onassis to 23-year old rapper A$AP Rocky’s President John F. Kennedy, who probably wouldn't be the first, or the 100th choice to play as such in a music video.
|Del Rey as Jackie O. with Rocky portraying JFK|
While interracial relationships are neither new or anything to bat an eyelid at, the depiction of such within music videos have been mostly absent, save a few that do so directly to make a point (such as ‘Un-Thinkable’ by Alicia Keys, or that Madonna video). Furthermore, even fewer depict a happily married interracial couple with children as this does. Over the course of the clip we see the family having breakfast, celebrating a birthday and frolicking about on the beach, while Del Rey and Rocky share tender moments on a sunbed. As the video reaches it's climax, it ends in the same form as John and Jackie's did- with the assassination of the former. From here we are left with a monologue lead by Lana detailing her love for her dearly departed, ending a previously blissful romance into a frequently visited theme throughout Del Rey's career- death.
National Anthem is an entertainingly heart-warming video to watch, and while some will undoubtedly moan and roll their eyes at the fact that she has chosen to pose as a widely recognisable and celebrated recent historical figure, it turns out to be her most satisfying music video yet.
Oh by the way Lana, I'm still waiting for that 'Summertime Sadness' vid.