Likes: Ultraviolence, Shades Of Cool, Old Money, Money Power Glory
Favorites: Black Beauty, Sad Girl, Brooklyn Baby
Dislikes: Florida Kilos
Overall: An audiovisual resurrection of artistry; a testimony to Lana’s intrinsic musicality.
Lana Del Rey follows no trends or familiar fads. She’s simply in her own musical universe that tends to make her listeners feel like they are dreaming. Her aesthetical technique is alluringly haunting, yet unfathomably beautiful. While the techno, electro and jazzy dance beats play on, Lana Del Rey sways with ethereal delight as her voice soars over melodic emotional outpour infused with solid production, taking you into a psychedelic state of reverie throughout her 2nd album, Ultraviolence.
I know everyone can’t or refuses to get into Lana Del Rey, simply because the music “depresses” them or her very sultry voice is often viewed as monotone. Her voice is on the dreamy, soothing alto side, yet she has a very texturized vocal pallet. She can’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but despite all the naysayers, Del Rey has truly brought something refreshing, different and I do dare say, new to the industry. Growing from her Born To Die breakthrough, Del Rey continues to take her individuality to the next level and manages to keep the remarkable uniqueness that sets her miles apart from all the pop tragedies of today. Ultraviolence will take a few listens to grow on you if you’re not the quintessential Lana fan. Nonetheless, there are stand out songs such as “Old Money,” “Sad Girl,” “Ultraviolence,” “Brooklyn Baby” and “Shades Of Cool.” “Old Money” is romantically nostalgic, laced with a deep yearning to go back to the time of classic movies and classical music. Nino Rota’s lovely composition for the theme of the 1968 Romeo and Juliet is sampled for this mystical track. Though lyrically not the best, the repetitive prose of “Sad Girl” gives an essence of air and humanism, as opposed to a completely showy tangent about being a sad girl. Del Rey sings about a life that makes you wonder if it was really hers. Another 60’s sampling of “He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss)” by The Crystals, “Ultraviolence” invokes romantic despair and a love for the very violence that is causing the despair. “Brooklyn Baby” is a sweet sucker punch with a reminiscent touch of 70’s freedom and praise for simplicity. “Shades Of Cool” is the highlight of the entire album; the hypnotic, climatic guitar solo and rock driven sound absolutely has Black Keys guitarist/vocalist Dan Auerbach’s name written all over it. Another little gem is a cover of Nina Simone’s “The Other Woman.” With Del Rey’s distinctive stamp and musical production that is a grandiose acclaim to the works of Ultraviolence, she’s on the brink of something and it might just be greatness.