The queen of melancholy is back! And no, I’m not talking about my pathetic and sad self, but the lovely lady who makes depression and heartbreak sound heavenly, romantic, and glamorous – miss Lana Del Rey herself! The American singer-songwriter has now released her ninth album. Following her last success Blue Banisters in 2021, she has now released a new album including sixteen songs under the name Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd.
Right off the bat, if you love ballads and the feeling of sinking deeply into beautiful piano melodies, then this is the album for you. The piano in this whole album is enough to make a person weep without knowing that the tears are running. It’s passionate, soft, and poetic and it really sets the melancholic mood and vibe for the whole album. A good example of this is already shown in the opening track, The Grants, when paired with Lana’s heavenly voice, creates a beautiful atmosphere. The opening track also starts with a gospel-like choir, inviting you in. It’s comforting, it’s warm, and Lana’s voice pulls you into her usual melancholic and sad-girl signature. And it’s so gorgeous.
What is amazing about Lana Del Rey’s music is that it can feel so comforting, almost like a hug – but with the sharpest lyrics. And I think that it’s what makes this album so great, just like many of her other albums. An example of this is presented in the song A&W, where she sings “this is the experience of being an American whore”. This is not the first time she does this kind of thing, and I honestly find it so clever and entertaining in a way.
I had to pick out some favorites from the album even though it was hard. One song that I especially want to highlight is the Jon Batiste Interlude. In general, an interlude is meant to disrupt, to draw your attention in another direction, to interfere in a way. And this interlude does it perfectly. It starts off as a simple chord sequence, and transforms into many random sounds, something that sounds like voice recordings, and the feel of it is experimental. The chord sequence doesn’t change that much, but instruments are added on as the piano is playing, the volume increases throughout. This interlude is playful, as it feels like it’s improvised, and personally it gives me the same vibe as when you’re jamming and improvising at a band practice. It filled me with nostalgia and became a favourite quickly.
If I were to have written this review song for song, it would have been a very long review. But for this one, I wanted to discuss the general vibe. If you like something that reminds you of when it rains for the first few days of June, the feel of summer rain and the smell of freshly cut grass and candles – then this is the album for you. Lyrically, the album tackles love, heartbreak, hope and grief and it’s truly one of her best albums yet, in my opinion.
Favourite tracks that make me cry myself to sleep every night:
The Grants (opening track)
Jon Batiste Interlude
Favourite soul-crushing lyric:
“But I can’t say I run when things get hard, it’s just that I don’t trust myself with my heart. But I’ve had to let it break a little more cause they say that’s what it’s for.” (from Kintsugi)