Album Review: “Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd” by Lana Del Rey

This is Lana Del Rey’s ninth studio album (if you count “AKA Lizzy Grant” as her first.) I’ve done several LDR album reviews, and what I’ve found is that it takes me at least several listens before I can fully understand and appreciate a song of hers. So, I will be covering my overall reaction to her new record, without getting too deep into the specifics of the tracks. I have been doing blog posts analyzing one song of hers at a time, and I do plan on doing that with these album songs, once fully digested.

Overall, the sound of this album is still very similar to previous, recent works. Like “Lust for Life,” it carries occasional traces of hiphop but on a much more subtle level. Like “NFR!”, “CCOTCC,” and “Blue Banisters,” there is a lot of piano ballads, stripped down acoustics, and underproduction. And like every other album she’s made, it’s jazzy and sporadic at the most unexpected parts.

Despite similarities to previous works, the album as a whole stands out as its own individual sound. Something very different is that the album contains some gospel, a choir, and a sermon. The album opens with “The Grants,” which begins with vocals from a church choir before we are introduced to Lana. “Judah Smith Interlude” is a sermon from a preacher, in which you can occasionally hear Lana chiming in with agreement.

Certain songs have very clear production, while others are composed to feel like they are being heard from very far away, or from a very old, high static radio. Many of the tracks feel very dreamy and ethereal, such as “Paris, Texas.” I can definitely feel myself frolicking in the grass like a fairy while listening to this record.

I’m looking forward to listening to this album much more, immersing myself in these tracks and really taking in the lyrics. It might be too soon to say, but already, I feel like this may be my new favorite album of hers. Well done!


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