Along with the announcement of his debut solo album We Fall, super producer Emile Haynie shared album cut “Wait For Life”, a collaboration with Lana del Rey. This isn’t the first time the two have worked together, as Haynie produced Del Rey’s electrifying Born to Die album in 2012, and so with “Wait For Life” she is returning the favour.
What’s most notable on the song, is the fact that Del Rey seems to have ditched the jazz influenced-nuances of her stunning Ultraviolence album from last year, and reverted back to the dreamy intonations of her earlier work. As a result, those who adored her first few releases will dive into this track with sheer joy.
However, the sweetness stops there. Some might argue that this is actually a step in the wrong direction for this artist. Why? Because it sounds too much like her Born to Die material. Almost everything, from the piano progressions, the “Blue Jeans”-esque strings and the ethereal harmonized vocals give a rather bloated, and at the same time deflated feel to the song.
Of course, this shouldn’t really have come as a surprise; it’s worked before, so why fix something that isn’t broken? At the same time, you can’t help but feel that the song’s two or three years out of date. With Haynie’s incredible repertoire and musical background (he’s produced for the likes of Kanye West, Drake, Bruno Mars), it’s a little disappointing that he didn’t push a little more on this one.
Despite everything I’ve said here, there’s no denying that Del Rey’s honeyed vocals sound magnificent against the grand backdrop of the lush piano chords, splendid guitars and some graceful strings. “But I can’t let you in / And I can’t keep you out” she echoes in the track’s chorus as the soft thump of a drum kicks in and out of the rich orchestration penned by Haynie. As with every song by Del Rey, “Wait For Life” has that cinematic grandeur; that swelling sense of drama which both bites and caresses your heart. That, coupled with Haynie’s wistful arrangement work ever so well together.
In a nutshell, there’s nothing wrong with “Wait For Life”, it seems like the pairing of Lana del Rey and Emile Haynie is a match made in heaven. Alas, if only we weren’t in 2015 and “Wait For Life” had featured on Born to Die. Maybe then, you’d have read an entirely different review…