Lana Del Rey’s ‘Ultraviolence’ album review


Kendall Valan, Assistant News Editor

After many rumors and false music career farewells, Lana Del Rey is back in full swing with her new album Ultraviolence, available in the U.S. on Tuesday, June 17.

The artist had presented many doubts starting in 2012, after her release of Born to Die. She told Vogue magazine she was not interested in writing another record. “I feel like everything I wanted to say, I said already.” Many fans also viewed her 2013 short film Tropico as a “farewell project.”

Del Rey has always been a glass half empty type of girl, but an interview with The Guardian had eyebrows raised. “I wish I was dead already,” was the response she gave in reference to following in the footsteps of her idols, Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain. However, selling 12 million copies of her first two records may have been the tempting confidence boost she needed.

Her new producer, Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, has molded a new voice for the artist’s next era. Del Rey exchanges her cinematic orchestral interludes for soft ballads filled with relaxed confidence, conceptual lyrics, and a close attention to detail. Nothing could ever replace the power behind Born to Die or Paradise, but Ultraviolence feels well thought out. Each song blends seamlessly into the next. Every chorus connects with the uniform melodies, leaving the listeners under a dream-like trance.

‘West Coast’was the first track to get lifted off the new record, leaving the first impression that Del Rey is ready to take on more risks, in order to become a “queen of saigons.”

Although, some things never change. Much of her music still references echoes of the 1950’s and 60’s. The damaged beauties are still chasing after the motorcycle sugar daddies. ‘Cruel World’ marks the perfect grand entrance for the glamour girl in the red dress and the sexy bad boy – “Got your bible and your gun.” Del Rey also gives her classic skewed perception that every woman has a dramatic backstory full of lies and deceit that will have you running towards the sunset ready for the next heartbreak.

One of the most prized gems off the new record, ‘Old Money,’ portrays a perfect mix of the artist’s growing maturity and the old Del Rey lust, resonating with a haunting presence that lends itself to another listen.

Lana’s only downfall has critics going crazy. Many are screaming, “Sing about something else already!” The helpless feminist may have a spot in the fans’ hearts, but 50 tracks later; it may be time to change the pace. However, some listeners feel attached to the character Del Rey has presented over the years. Good thing they won’t have to let her go just yet.

Overall, Ultraviolence is worth the hour journey. Her newborn confidence, and sultry slow tempo makes it easy to overlook the broken-record storytelling. Let’s hope Lana Del Rey ventures on to see the success the new release will lead her.

  Ultraviolence Track List:

01 Cruel World                           08 Money Power Glory

02 Ultraviolence                        09 F**ked My Way Up to the Top

03 Shades of Cool                      10 Old Money

04 Brooklyn Baby                       11 The Other Woman

05 West Coast                              12 Black Beauty *

06 Sad Girl                                    13 Guns and Roses *

07 Pretty When You Cry         14 Florida Kilos *

* bonus tracks