On March 24th, Lana Del Rey released her ninth studio album named Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd, which has garnered reverence from critics and listeners across the globe. I have always been a fan of Del Rey’s music because of her unique aesthetic: a mix of gloomy American glamour, melancholy, romance, and mystery. In Ocean Blvd, she tells a story that approaches and cuts deep down into her darkest fears, seemingly more intimate than previous records.
In her new album, the vocals seem more improvised as opposed to her previous ones, as Del Rey revealed she was, “practicing meditative automatic singing,” with the intent of adding more color to her vocals. Furthermore, this new album is new territory for the singer, as she peels back the layers and appears to let fans into her personal life even more.
In particular, the lyricism feels looser, and candid, and explores themes ranging from family, death, and the existence of God, to the idea of marriage and motherhood. In essence, through the medium of music, she brings human experiences to life from the perspective of a female growing up. Here are two tracks that convey essential messages in the midst of a chaotic yet must-hear album.
First up is A&W, also known as American Whore, is a personal favorite. Although it may initially seem like an uncomfortable and ambitious concept, it is filled with honest declarations about how young women are regarded and dismissed in today’s society. The beginning of the track begins with an anecdote of childhood but gradually evolves into a tale of her becoming an “American whore.” It conveys a sense of underlying sadness, as what is being implied is that she now has a lifestyle where sexual encounters have become the norm, leading to the conclusion that she has become impatient with the “husband-finding process.” She does not find this the ideal way of living, as many of us can resonate with this message.
My second favorite track is The Grants, which is the opening track of the entire album. Throughout the track, her repeated lyricism indicates she is honoring her loved ones, looking back at the memories she will bring along with her until death comes. She sings, “I’m gonna take mine of you with me,” suggesting that she is making the conviction that these small treasures, her timeless moments with her family, are going to last with her eternally.
I love it because it is incredibly touching and moving, eliciting feelings of reminiscence like I am flipping through a childhood photo book with her. Most of us have fruitful memories and tight bonds with our family members, and this is the epitome of musical storytelling.
The Real Experience of a Woman
Throughout the album, Del Rey is embracing her powerful, artistic uniqueness with her daring, conversive lyrics and thrilling sounds. Del Rey has produced the most singular 21st-century songs imbued with emotions, the personal experience of a woman, and honest lyrics, setting herself apart from the typical pop songs that we hear on the radio most of the time. It’s taboo, yet truthful in the eyes of women.
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