Not many female acts have been able to top the charts this year so far. In fact, Lana Del Rey’s recently released #1 album, Lust For Life, has made her the only solo female artist to top the UK album chart this year. In addition, she joins UK superstar group Little Mix in being the only female acts to have an album reach the #1 position.
Male artists and acts have dominated half the year including Elbow, The xx, Kasabian, Royal Blood, Harry Styles, Stormzy and Ed Sheeran, the latter whose internationally successful album spent 14 non-consecutive weeks at #1 before being dethroned by UK pop rock band The Vamps. In a list compiled by the Official Charts, only five female acts were present on the list of 2017’s Top 40 albums so far – they included Whitney Houston, Zara Larsson, Vera Lynn, Adele & Little Mix.
Lana Del Rey has had previous success in the UK as her albums, Born To Die and Ultraviolence, also topped the UK albums chart. It yielded her first platinum hit, ‘Video Games’, and later a remixed version of ‘Summertime Sadness’ also crossed the top 5 on the UK Singles chart. It eventually became her most successful single to date.
Lust For Life has received over generally favorable reviews with many critics complimenting her appreciation and utilization of hip-hip sounds and influences. Rolling Stone said, “Lana Del Rey has become a hugely adored miserablist thanks to a perpetually wounded voice and plainspoken poetry. Her fourth album as Lana Del Rey luxuriates in warm textures and laconic tempos that recall pre-rock-era pop, her voice given Rick Nelson levels of reverb that adds ruminative weight to even her most basic observations”