"The Next Best American Record" (also known as "Best American Record" and "Architecture") is song by Lana Del Rey from her album Norman Fucking Rockwell. It was first recorded sometime between early 2016 and November 26, 2016. On February 27, 2017, a demo of the song leaked. The track is an outtake from Lust for Life and presumably did not make the final tracklist due to its premature release. The song was re-recorded for Norman Fucking Rockwell with Jack Antonoff.
The demo leaked under "Best American Record" and the title "Architecture" was confirmed by copyright infringement claims that certain fans received after uploading the song to platforms such as YouTube and SoundCloud. Although, it is unregistered on any music publishing sites. The song title was confirmed to be changed to "The Next Best American Record" when the tracklist for Norman Fucking Rockwell was revealed.
In an interview with Beats 1 Radio on July 12, 2017, Del Rey was asked about the song, under the title "Architecture", and she described it as the "yin to the yang" to "Yosemite", another outtake from Lust for Life. She said it was like the "brother and sister" track, comparing it to "Groupie Love" and "Summer Bummer".
On July 26, 2017 at her Amoeba Hollywood show, Del Rey responded to a fan question asking if she would ever release any of her leaked or unreleased songs. She referred to the song as "The Next Best American Record" and expressed her desire to potentially release the song along with "Yosemite" as folk singles because they would not "start the new record". She went on to add that she has thought about releasing a record of her 25 favorite "leaked songs", but wasn't sure if it would be a good idea.
After the release of the music video for "White Mustang" on September 13, 2017, many fans came to the conclusion that the footage from the video was originally intended for an "Architecture" music video. This theory is supported by the fact that many of the visuals and themes used in the "White Mustang" music video seem to be strongly connected to the lyrics of "Architecture". Throughout the music video, no lyrics are lipped by Del Rey and unsubtle random transitions including slowed down footage are featured, alluding that the original "Architecture" video was re-edited to accommodate the lyrics and run time of "White Mustang". Del Rey even posted a video that was taken behind the scenes of "White Mustang" where she can be heard singing lyrics of "Architecture", which further supports the theory. Del Rey has also mentioned that "White Mustang" was one of the last songs she wrote for the album, and since the first behind the scenes clip of the "White Mustang" video were posted during February 2017, this heavily implies that the video was shot before writing "White Mustang". For now, this is all fan speculation and has not been confirmed by Del Rey or her team.
- Del Rey mentions Bill, who is a prominent figure in her past works such as "Trash Magic", "Driving in Cars with Boys" and "Super Movie".
- Fame is a prominent theme in "Noir".
- Del Rey uses the lyric "you know what I'm talking about" in "Because of You".
- Cigarettes are mentioned in "You Can Be the Boss", "1949" and "Girl That Got Away, among many other songs.
- Del Rey similarly calls her lover cool in "Brooklyn Baby", "Lust for Life", "Ridin'", "Push Me Down", "Heavy Hitter" and alludes to it in "National Anthem".
- "Houses of the Holy" references rock band Led Zeppelin's album of the same name.
- The melody of the verses is similar to that of "Hangin' Around".
- "Topanga's hot tonight" is a phrase first used in "Heroin".
- Album version — 5:49
- Demo version — 6:05