If you haven’t listened to “West Coast,” Shades of Cool,” or “Ultraviolence,” then you’re missing out on the musical experience of 2014. Eerily beautiful, Lana Del Rey continues to push her artistry to new levels with her latest release off of her forthcoming sophomore album, “Ultraviolence.”
Announced in December of 2013 during the Los Angeles premiere of “Tropico,” Del Rey has since been on the tip of everyone’s tongue while we impatiently wait for any news regarding “Ultraviolence.” While we waited, Lana’s re-imagining of the classic waltz “Once Upon A Dream” played in a T.V. spot of Disney’s “Maleficent” during the 2014 Grammy Awards. Was this a hint of how dark the new album would sound? Yes and no. Yes, the music was heavy and Del Rey’s vocals were deep and enchanting. No, because gone are the prominent strings and the crisp, polished sound of “Born To Die” and “Paradise.”
“West Coast”was the first listen into how Del Rey’s sound would differentiate. Percussion and a reverse tempo change before the chorus threw us for a loop, but a loop we enjoyed. Beautifully layered vocals and product specific lyrics that just make Lana’s music that much cooler, “his Parliament’s on fire and his are up,” are ever so present, but the urban sound “Born To Die” teetered with seems to be long gone.
“Shades of Cool” just makes you feel cool listening to it. Again, product specific lyrics are present “he drives a Chevy Malibu,” and places the listener into the world that Lana has lived in and recreated for our imaginations. The guitar work on “Shades of Cool” make one think that this could have been a James Bond theme. This song is just cool, breezy and awesome.
“Ultraviolence” is the title track that was released Wednesday and it has no short comings. “He hit me and it fell like a kiss” is definitely the standout line of the song. The song sounds like a swampy, humid day with sticky skin, but in a sexy way. I haven’t deciphered the lyrics, but I’ve read that it tells a telling story. It reminds me of a more mature version of “Cola” sonically.
“Ultraviolence,” the album, is shaping up to be the album of 2014 for all the obvious reasons. It’s interesting, stunning and full of marvel.