Hot Girl Summer is over, and with the dawn of September and the release of Lana Del Reys new album comes Melancholic Girl Autumn.
Lana has dropped her sixth album Norman F***ing Rockwell and as per usual, it is a record full of dreamy depression, beautifully crafted songs and hefty doses of misery and longing for lost love.
The singer has carved a niche for herself in pop music with her old-school-Hollywood-bombshell-that-wants-to-die image, a persona that has followed her ever since 2011s Video Games and has become even more polished on Norman F***ing Rockwell.
The new release has been praised by fans and by most outlets, with four and five star reviews in abundance.
But in some circles, Lanas image has been labelled tired. Apparently working hard on an image and maintaining a style is no longer admired. The best example of this was a review last week that called her a one trick pony.
The three-star view from Neil McCormick says Lanas persona is so thoroughly integrated with her work it is almost impossible to ascertain where the image ends and real person begins, before saying she is at risk of being exposed as just another over sensitive and particularly self-absorbed singer-songwriter.
Another review from the Guardian said: Its author is clearly very talented but its hard not to wish that she would broaden her perspective, adopt a different persona, shake things up a little.
The thing is, Lana shouldnt have to change her style. She is an icon for the sad girls, delivering anthems for the broken-hearted and a throwback to the days when a chain-smoking and morning vodka habit was considered glamorous.
Her distinct Lana Del Rey-ness is what has set her apart from the crowd, much like the greats before her.
Her fans love her because of her constant sadness; she has provided a soundtrack to our own despair much like Beyonce has provided a soundtrack to getting over a cheating man and Rihanna has provided a soundtrack to our nights out.
This dependability is not a weakness, its Lanas ultimate strength and what makes her a star.
Artists have styles. Nobody calls out Neil Young for sticking to what he knows. Jay Z doesnt get poor reviews for staying within his wheelhouse. Lana is good at sad bad girl ballads – she isnt going to suddenly switch to a self-loving anthem album like Lizzos Cuz I Love You.
If she came out with a Normani pop banger, pitchforks would be sharpened on blogs across the internet. Her thing is depression and infatuation with a side of eyeliner, and anything else would be inauthentic.
And as we see anytime Madonna debuts a new persona, women who reinvent themselves every few years cant catch a break either.
But ultimately, sadness cannot be accepted from women in music. When Lana Del Rey sings about being sad, shes critiqued as self-absorbed and woe is me, while Lil Peeps songs about suicidal thoughts were credited as a new revolution in music and Hoziers depressed but horny style is critically acclaimed.
In fact, Hozier could be seen as the more bluesy counterpart to Lanas style, and I am a huge fan, but I highly doubt he would be called a one-trick pony for sombre songs about sex. And while Morrissey can be criticised for many, many things, his consistent grumpiness made him a music icon, rather than someone who needs to mix things up.
More: Lana Del Rey
Female popstars can be emotional, they can be bright, they can be happy, they can be in love. But god forbid they be miserable. Calling out Lana for her melancholy is the equivalent of telling a woman in the street theyd be pretty if they smiled more.