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7/15 KUMD Album Review: Lana Del Re(y)view


Lana Del Rey really really really wants to sing the theme song to the next Bond film.By Basement DJ Quentin Stille

Okay, I really want to hate this album for a plethora of reasons. For instance, the liner notes read like a noir-obsessed teenage girl's tumblr post; the prime example reads as follows: "He used to call me D.N. - that stood for Deadly Nightshade 'cause I was filled with poison but blessed with beauty and rage." Deep stuff guys, deep stuff. Also in the liner notes: pic of Lana, eyes closed, smoking a cig, wearing a t-shirt with the Pepsi logo, but instead of Pepsi, it says "Peyote." That's the only full color image. All the other photos (in vintage film) are in faded color or black and white. Deep stuff guys, really deep stuff. Not to mention there's a track called "Shades of Cool." Just let that sink in for one second. "Shades of Cool." If you're not thinking 80's cop show parody you are now. "Shades of Cool." That's the last one. I promise.

The thing is, this is only superficial judgment on my part. The music on the other hand, is, well, also worthy of superficial judgment, but it sounds so gosh darn lush it's actually hard to hate (the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach produces 8 of the 11 tracks). First off, look at the album cover (I'm banking on the fact that it's appended to the top of the review). Fact: that's the only face Lana Del Rey ever makes. Now picture that face making music, and you get beautiful sounding melancholia over lavish instrumentation. Proof: there's a song called "Sad Girl." Subsequent Proof: (Lyrics from the bridge of "Sad Girl") "I'm on fire baby, I'm on fire.**". Now I can't technically quote the instrumentation, but just know that where her previous effort, Born to Die, fell flat with overly high-minded pop orchestration, Ultraviolence is better due to bluesy-er interpretations (cue Dan Auerbach name drop #2) of the BtD formula, making the record a bit more grounded. But only a bit. Proof: you can basically take any song from this album, add a video collage of women in strapless gowns, dancing sensually with guns and diamonds, and you will have the intro to the next iconic Daniel Craig vehicle.

Sure, the lyrical content is about as deep as the aforementioned liner notes, amounting to nothing more than vapidly stoned proclamations from a young girl in love with a rich, unfaithful drugdealer- ex:" I've got feathers in my hair, I get high on hydroponic weed, and my jazz collection's rare" (from Brooklyn Baby) or "those special times / I spent with you, my love / they don't mean sh-- / compared to all your drugs" (from "Pretty When I Cry")- but who cares? This is decadent extravagance, so treat yourself.

**this bridge is sung apathetically, with little to no trace of being actually on fire

Rec if You Like: Greek Yogurt, Black n White Instagram Filters, $50 Bills, Not Smiling
Rec Tracks: Shades of Cool (Obviously), Pretty When I Cry, Brooklyn Baby