Ultraviolence: extreme violence, very, very, bad; horrible.
This 27-year-old hippie cool chick is irresistibly dangerous, unapologetically obscene and systematically inspiring in all of her confessions with her well-awaited album, “Ultraviolence.”
Lana Del Rey’s pen skills are insanely poetic, metaphorically and figuratively speaking. She’s a bold beast who’s well aware of the power she possesses within her words, spilling out phrases like “I’m churning out novels like Beat poetry on amphetamines.” There isn’t one song that doesn’t hold some form of substance; everything is very internally in tune in every way possible. “Cruel World,” the opening track, channels Pink Floyd’s “Goodbye, Cruel World”where she discusses the relationship of addiction. But the run doesn’t stop there; this project is filled with all sorts of demons and vices that are deliberated and soul consuming. Her ability to be a repetitious lyricist who may say the same things often, but have various meanings, is a rare formula that catapults her unpredictability on tracks like “Pretty When You Cry” and“Sad Girl”that can make the argument of it’s not what you say, but how you say it.
“Ultraviolence” is vocally delivered through a time capsule. Like a theatrical musical, Lana’s voice is a seductive masterpiece that swoons, sways and calms even the most turbulent of oceans. Sonically, it’s as if she’s a 50’s singer singing her heart out in a nightclub. “Is This Happiness”is a perfect example of that moniker and “The Other Woman,” a Nina Simone cover. Her range isn’t an outlandish powerhouse, nor does she try to be, epically depicted on “Money Power Glory.” Her vocal ability draws you in and is filled with more breathy highs and airless lows, there’s no in between.
Production is greatly influenced by jazz and alternative rock. “Shades of Cool” accesses an electric guitar bridge. While “West Coast,” a perfect choice for a first single,produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, has a rollercoaster, signature California breeze sound. There’s a sense of consistency within the track listing and production that coincides effortlessly, climaxing midway through on diss track “Fucked My Way To The Top” that’s co-produced by Lana.
Lana Del Rey’s honesty takes up the slack of any flaw she and her audience may believe that she has. Her music establishes her undeniable artistic expression, and this album establishes why her presence in this industry is violently necessary.
What song from “Ultraviolence” has you encapsulated right now? Is this Lana’s best? Let us know in the comments below.
*This review of "Ultraviolence" is based on the 14-track Deluxe Edition.
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