In an age where pop stars are constantly pressured to change, challenge and reinvent their sound, Lana Del Rey's commitment to melancholia is laudable. She has painted pictures of perfumed romance, ultraviolence, Californian beach fronts and thrilling affairs in the same potent shades we have grown accustomed to for the past half-decade. Commenting recently on fan speculation of a continued narrative between album covers, she noted “I like having a narrative in a track listing, and continuity with a discography.” This dedication to a personal plot keeps fans manically anticipating new music and easily intrigues newcomers. On Lana’s fourth outing Lust For Life, our heroin demonstrates wit, strength and sorrow over its mammoth 71 minutes.

“I made my first 4 albums for me, but this one is for my fans.” It is undisputed Lana’s most adored record remains the debut Born To Die, and its style and production have been emulated and enhanced here. The downtempo R&B of ‘Cherry’ feels like a sultry counterpart to the brilliant ‘Blue Jeans’, tumbling drums and frantic vocal undercut by Lana’s metronomic “bitch.” ‘In My Feelings’ has the grandeur of ‘National Anthem’, however here hazy patriotism has been exchanged for smoky cynicism and a chorus of orgasmic, spasming vocal shrieks with the twisted sexual magnetism of Portishead’s ‘Glory Box’.

Performing a small amount of new material live during an exclusive live London show earlier this week, it became evident that the new record marries well with the Lynchian dramatism of 2014’s Ultraviolence. The breathy ‘White Mustang’ has a natural pace enhanced by the sexualised reverberated moans, and she performs this with a lustful sensuality. There is true menace in the delivery of epically titled ‘When The World Was At War and We Kept Dancing’. Rather than attempting the tremulous politi-pop of Katy Perry, Lana instead comments with a distant thoughtfulness. Similarly, amidst the Beach House dream pop of ‘Coachella In My Mind’, Mother Del Rey muses on the futures of the young girls imitating her own free spirited festival-flora persona in post-Trump Armageddon. Throughout the record we move between the other-worldly, “climb up the H of the Hollywood sign,” and the frighteningly real “what about all these children? What about their children’s children?”

On ’13 Beaches’ woe overwhelms. This is our moment of disruption, our femme fatale facing the camera with teary eyes and delivering like never before; “It hurts to love you, but I still love you.” As Daisy danced heavy-hearted through Baz Lurhman’s Great Gatsby, here you feel a similar desperation for our leading lady, the hopelessness in delivery is more affecting than anything she has written previously. Sadness enthrals throughout this record in a similar manner to Kirsten Dunst’s captivating performance in Lars Von Trier’s epic Melancholia. The all-consuming nature of Justine’s agony and anguish makes for uncomfortable and wholly unmissable watching. Lana’s ability to magnify minute emotional devastation to the giddying scales of her own performance and persona is bewildering. She allows her emotion to pour freely with a purposefulness and strength she had not yet found in the ‘Ride’ referencing closer ‘Get Free’. She used to “just ride” and now “she wants to move out of the black, into the blue.”

She modernises her baroque art deco style on this record with a selection of guest stars and close companions, including The Weeknd, A$AP Rocky and Playboi Carti. Lana has always expressed an infatuation with hip-hop and the ice cold bars enhance the seductiveness of ‘Summer Bummer’. Canadian global star Abel Tesfaye brings ‘Life of the Party’ trip-pop to the album’s heavy hitting title track. Lana brings 50s doo-wap to a dizzying collision with The Weeknd’s future-facing R&B style. The result is pop that is as daring, innovative and entirely captivating. ‘Groupie Love’ reintroduces our Sin City style heroin of ‘Carmen’; it’s a track oozing with assured femininity and overt sexuality, A$AP animating the male counterpart that has been a silent presence in the Del Rey narrative to date. The track is more dimensional as another character comes into view.

On an altogether different collaboration, ‘Beautiful People, Beautiful Problems’, Lana duets with an artist her own sultry growls have so very often been compared to. The results are expectedly divine, Stevie Nicks now meeting Del Rey’s husky high notes with her own characterful vocal. Courtney Love commented earlier this year that Lana has created a world, a persona, an enigma - and this duet with Nicks echoes the sentiment. The original Gold Dust Woman fixated on thoughts of witchcraft and spirituality always performed from a place of truth, and this feels comparable to Lana’s process of constructing her universe of heritage glamour and nostalgic decadence.

The lead single ‘Love’’s booming percussion rings out and Lana’s aching, sophisticated style embraces you like a long forgotten lover. It is Lana of Born To Die era, unapologetically romantic, stars in her eyes, dream pop. Its production is as luxurious as her words and delivery. When the starlet got caught up in technical issues during her London headline show and delivered a pitch perfect acapella rendition of this ground shaking single she personified Lust For Life’s strengths. Stripped of fineries, facades and fables, Lana stands as a balladeer for the new generation, one that lives simultaneously in the past and present.

Lana Del Rey may have a famously feverish fanbase, yet the person most obsessed with the singer is undoubtedly Lana herself. Through a commendable dedication to her fabricated persona, Lust For Life becomes the next electrifying, dramatic and essential scene in Lana Del Rey: the motion picture.