“Cinnamon Girl” is the seventh track off of modern pop star Lana Del Rey’s highly anticipated 2019 album “Norman Fucking Rockwell!” (NFR!), which was released earlier this year.
In “Cinnamon Girl”, Del Rey describes conflicted and confused feelings about an intense and toxic relationship – and begs her lover to do caring actions such as “if you hold me without hurting be / you’ll be the first whoever did”. The chorus beat mimics the waves of an ocean, which only emphasises the sombre mood and sound of the song. The track title comes from a Neil Young classic, who seems to be a huge inspiration for Del Ret as she as previously referenced him in one of her 2017 tracks “Get Free”. However, despite the tracks mainly positive reaction, famed critic Ann Powers gave the record and the track a less than positive review: “The title’s a mildly clever cop from a Neil Young classic, and the first line, “cinnamon in my teeth from your kiss,” takes you somewhere. But then? There’s a line about different colored pills, alluding to her sweetheart’s addiction, and one about her frustration becoming like fire. B-plus poetics. There’s some moaning about how no one has “held me without hurting me,” and half-formed thoughts about words she cannot speak. Compare this vague non-story to four lines randomly pulled from Mitchell’s 1972 song about her then-lover James Taylor’s heroin habit, “Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire,” written when she was five years younger than Del Rey is now: Concrete concentration camp / Bashing in veins for peace / Cold blue steel and sweet fire / Fall into Lady Release. Yet let Del Rey’s song sink in, and it offers its own revelations — sensual and emotional, like Mitchell’s, but less clearly mediated. The simplicity and directness of “Cinnamon Girl” hits as its leaden rhythm seems to grow more elastic… Sometimes all the song’s effects fall away, only to push forward again; there doesn’t seem to be much order to the dynamics. The whole effect is slippery, unattached to the process of telling a story. The song feels more like you’re in a story, in someone’s head at a particularly unsure moment. A great songwriter, as we tend to understand that role, would offer a more coherent view. But for Del Rey, the mash-up of effects and references is the point. It is emotion’s actuality.”
Del Rey took to Twitter after the review was published, stating: “”…I don’t even relate to one observation you made about the music. There’s nothing uncooked about me. To write about me is nothing like it is to be with me. Never had a persona. Never needed one. Never will,” in one tweet and “So don’t call yourself a fan like you did in the article and don’t count your editor one either – I may never never have made bold political or cultural statements before- because my gift is the warmth I live my life with and the self reflection I share generously.”
There is currently no music video for the track, however the official audio video on Lana Del Rey’s YouTube channel has over 3.5 million views since its upload on the 29th August 2019. On Spotify, the track has over 18.4 million plays.
Release Date: 30th August 2019
Songwriter/s: Lana Del Rey & Jack Antonoff
Producer/s: Jack Antonoff & Lana Del Rey
Label/s: Interscope Records & Polydor Records
Chart Rankings: “Cinnamon Girl” ranked at #14 in the New Zealand Hot Singles chart and #18 on the US Billboard Alternative Digital Song Sales.
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