To be in possession of a destructive, impenetrable mind which is both warped with hazy mystery and laced with pure perplexity, seems a stunningly petrifying yet overwhelmingly fascinating idea. However, in 2012, this scheming dream became a reality when Lana Del Rey’s fuzzy, alcohol-infused past was brought to life on her second album, ‘Born To Die’. The sultry songstress’s first major commercial success was drenched in daddy dilemmas and highlighted the sickly-sweet gifts that newly-found fame had bestowed upon her. The world had simultaneously bowed at Queen Lana’s feet.
Two years on from her colossal second album; we have finally had the pleasure of being subjected to the breathtaking case of ‘Ultraviolence’. First brought to life with comeback single, the dark and dreamy ‘West Coast’, ‘Ultraviolence’ – which unusually sees Dan Auerbach (Black Keys) pulling the strings – sent shockwaves of excitement across the globe. Follow up singles ‘Shades of Cool’, title-track ‘Ultraviolence’ and ‘Brooklyn Baby’, rapidly increased anticipation for the third album. With the release of ‘Ultraviolence’ upon us; Lana Del Rey has proved she possesses the most intriguing talent in the music industry today.
Twenty-three minutes into ‘Ultraviolence’ and we’re hit with the hauntingly captivating ‘Sad Girl’; a track which sees Lana’s spine-chilling vocal reiterating the point “I’m a sad girl/I’m a bad girl”. The pure melancholy feeling that radiates from the track is on par with both ‘Pretty When You Cry’ and the peculiar penultimate track of the deluxe album, ‘Guns And Roses’; perhaps influenced by the ‘apparent’ relationship between herself and Axl Rose.
The burly theme of excruciating sadness touches the standard album’s final, heartfelt track, ‘The Other Woman’. Featuring striking similarities to the power that was derived from her previous rendition of ‘Blue Velvet’ for her H&M campaign, ‘The Other Woman’ could potentially be a contender as Del Rey’s strongest vocal performance of‘Ultraviolence’.
Contrasting tracks ‘Fucked My Way To The Top’ and ‘Black Beauty’ radiate both tainted splendour and physical sex appeal, quickly making them firm favourites to win the crown of becoming the ultimate game-changing track. However, upon the opening chords of ‘Old Money’ being struck, all hope of familiarity is cast away and the penultimate, sophisticated track of the standard album reigns supreme. ‘Old Money’ is sheer beauty and lets us, as the listener, temporarily enter the vicious whirlwind that clouds Lana Del Rey from understanding. To put it bluntly: ‘Old Money’ is a spark of pure, original magic.
To say that ‘Ultraviolence’ is anything less than lyrically astounding and mesmerizingly beautiful would be an insult. The album itself shows that Lana Del Rey is cool, collective and in control of her own sound and her own path, musically. This powerfully seductive woman has given the listener everything they need to comprehend her alien being but still she leaves us grasping at smoke.
‘Ultraviolence’ is released on Monday 16th June
(As featured on Hootingandhowling.com – http://hootingandhowling.com/album-ultraviolence-lana-del-rey/)