Lana Del Rey: Ultraviolence (Interscope/Polydor) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Lana Del Rey



Jun 24, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Over the past half decade, there have been few singers more polarizing than Lana Del Rey. Her debut effort, 2012’s Born to Die, was inconsistent and confusing, fueling her skeptics’ fire. But it seems like she’s learned from past mistakes. For her sophomore album, Del Rey enlisted the help of The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, who is quietly carving out a second career as a producer du jour.

While Del Rey doesn’t take too many risks musically, it’s lyrically where she’s at her most interesting, even provocative. The imagery conjured up via her words shows a vastly different and evolving artist. Throughout the record, Del Rey’s words evoke a romantic vision of her cinematic perception of doom and gloom. But the questionable deprecation of “Fucking My Way Up to the Top” or randomly trying to prove her hipster street cred by name checking Lou Reed and a jazz collection on “Brooklyn Baby” additionally gives the impression she’s trying too hard.

Throughout Ultraviolence, there’s a sense of musical haziness that rests in a safe zone that Del Rey either can’t or won’t escape from. The mid-tempo songs have elements of woozy European pop with a dose of baroque pop, yet at the same time aren’t pop at all. This narrow, repetitive sound never quite differentiates itself.

Like all things Lana Del Rey, however, it’s never as clear as it seems. Beneath that foggy psychedelica and comments to the contrary, there is a singer who really cares about perception and her image. Until Del Rey figures out who she is as an artist, then she’ll continue to cut puzzling albums that show promise but fall short of expectations. (

Author rating: 5/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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June 24th 2014

dead on. I had to attempt to listen to this three times because it’s just BORING. I think lots of her lyrics are darkly funny, but the delivery and production is just unlistenable and muddled.