Monday, June 16, 2014

Golden Track Off Lana Del Rey's "Ultraviolence"

Lana Del Rey was something else when she waltzed on to the scene three years ago; vampy and challenging almost everything that came before her in the pop landscape. Her music became the sailor-mouthed, sultry escape for bad b*tches everywhere - authentically cooing her way into the mainstream with this seemingly unprecedented approach to indie-pop. She effectively portrays a sexualized and self-admittedly doomed creature - helpless to poisonous partners and the self-destructiveness of her generation - yet liberated and armed with that airy whisper. Needless to say, all of her sadness and drama has worked incredibly well for her.

It's no surprise that this act has definitely has gotten old in more ways than not. Non-chalante and hardly engaging on stage, and now edgy to the point of uncomfortable on some songs, Del Rey's latest release Ultraviolence is by no means bad - she's still undeniably talented, exuding a boatload of intrigue - but there are moments that you have to wonder why she musically decided on a particular route.

On the gorgeous "Cruel World," however - you can hear the influence of her new creative buddy and Ultraviolence's producer, Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. Although the story hasn't changed much for Del Rey - she's still talking bourbon, heroine, guns, little red dresses and, ultimately, being a slave to her lover - the nearly 7-minutes of lush, atmospheric guitars and thumping percussion is dazzling. She's still so damn vulnerable, but beautifully reflective and haunting every step of the way. Despite the tiredness of some of her retro-pop singles, as long as she keeps recording songs like this - Del Rey is very likely to have a long and fruitful run as the industry's most distinct leading lady.

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