An album for the fans, but doesn't push any new barriers
Who didn’t love Lana Del Rey’s breakthrough hit ‘Video Games’? It was unique, sexy and classy. It was unlike anything we had heard, and rightly gave Ms. Del Rey her place on the map, and giving her her first top ten single. Since then, reactions to this sultry singer have been somewhat mixed. Her follow single and debut album, both named ‘Born To Die’ were well received, but her constant melancholy made her like the marmite of music. You either love her or hate her. My relationship with the singer has been somewhat mixed over the years. Whilst I loved her debut album, I often find her difficult to listen to. Whilst there were moments of true genius on her second album (leading single ‘West Coast’ for instance), often it felt like a joke that had gone on too long. She is laid back to the point of being horizontal, and sometimes I have found that to be a bit much when listening to her albums in full. There is a certain mood required, but in saying that, there is definitely a place in my record collection for her. She is not to everyone’s taste, but one thing is for sure; when you hear her on the radio, there can be no doubt who it is you are listening to. She has a truly unique sound, and that is why she is still as huge today as she was on the release of that first single.
Signs were good that album number three was going to be a strong collection of songs. Leading single ‘High On The Beach’ is classic Lana. It has all the elements that made us love her in the first place, and is without doubt one of my favourite songs of the year so far. It is a fantastic opening gambit, and got me excited for what was to come. But with the arrival of the rest of the album, could she keep up with the leading single? Well the album is certainly not going to change anyone’s opinion of the despondent diva. She adopts the same style as her previous two offerings. If you loved her past work, then get ready for another helping. If she’s maybe not been your cup of tea in the past, then needless to say, this probably won’t really float your boat either . There is nothing new or unexpected, but fans won’t be disappointed.
Opening things up is title track ‘Honeymoon’. It gives the album a theatrical start. It sounds like it could easily be taken from Le Mis. It is a beautifully tragic love song, that could be taken from that part of a musical where girl-loses-guy, or guy-loses-girl, and everything seems so hopeless. And this is just track one. It’s obvious from the offset that there isn’t going to be many laughs ahead. Many of the songs have that laid back passive sound. But where she really stands out, is by matching that with edgy and interesting lyrics. ‘Just because you’re a bad mother f*cker, doesn’t make you a man’ she sings on ‘High On The Beach’. She has a way of calling bullshit, and it is that attitude that makes me really respect her as an artist. Whilst often it can seem like a case of style over content, other times whilst the the style is there in abundance, the content matches up.