Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Lana Del Rey's songs are like the musical equivalent of a pout, and that's a good thing. I love her moody, atmospheric sound. Her debut album and it's extension, Born To Die: Paradise Edition, is among one of the finest collections of songs in the past few years IMO. There is always a lot of pressure to follow up a well-received, successful album. Lana's had a couple of very impressive soundtrack hits with the Grammy nominated Young & Beautiful from The Great Gatsby and the reimagining of Once Upon A Dream from Maleficent. Both are prefect for those projects and kept Del Rey in the headlines while she worked on her follow up. Well, Ultraviolence is here and I'd say it was worth the wait. There is still that pouty little bitch present on these songs, especially in rock-tinged first single West Coast and the hipster ode Brooklyn Baby, but she is smothered in 70s psychedelic California sun. There is a maturity in the music on Ultraviolence that was only hinted at with Born To Die. There is a sexy, adult voice coming through on songs like Sad Girl, Shades of Cool and the title track. Opening track, Cruel World, could fit quite well on Beck's amazing Morning Phase album. It is haunting and beautiful and opens the set with the perfect tone. Most songs sound as if they are daring Quentin Tarantino to put them in a film. Pretty When You Cry could lay over any scene in Kill Bill with its Hotel California-esque feel. Fucked My Way Up To the Top is a tongue-in-cheek song about getting there by any means possible with its repeating chorus of "this is my show" and is supposedly inspired by a female singer who criticized Lana for being fake, then stole her sound and became successful with it. WHO? There is still a lot of sex, violence, religion and fashion thrown in to keep the kids interested, but this is definitely an evolution in Lana Del Rey's signature sound, proving she is more than a one-note entertainer. So head over to iTunes and check it out for yourself. It's not exactly a summer dance album, but you can chill by the pool to this one.

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