Ultraviolence by Lana Del Rey

Released: June 17, 2014

Lana Del Rey | Ultraviolence | Rating: 7/11 |

A sweet and soft voice that ripples with boredom as the artificial flavoring of a gangster’s life is on display in Lana Del Rey’s third studio album, Ultraviolence. With outlandish song titles like “I F*****d My Way To The Top,” “The Other Woman” and “Pretty When You Cry,” listeners will be surprised by the paradox that lingers around Lana Del Rey’s style and lyrics. Though CD is of good quality, one cannot help but wonder if the aesthetics are so outlandish, that it’s comical.

Lana Del Rey has received a lot of blowback from people after her appalling performance on Saturday Night Live a few years back. People complained that she couldn’t sing and others mocked her in jealousy. The fact of the matter is, she can sing, but she cannot sing how people want her to sing. She knows her niche, which is soft and sweet and sometimes deep. Ultraviolence fully exhibits her rebellious style that is not for everyone.

The best song on the album has to be “Brooklyn Baby.” The song starts off sweet and melodious, what people expect from her voice. She starts talking about love and the idea of being misunderstood. Everything seems in its place, until she sings “I’m churning out novels like beat poetry on amphetamines.” The lines seem strange, but she’s talking about the beatnik movement in a pretty cool fashion. The song progresses and the extremely catchy chorus give listeners what they want to hear. As she croons about having Lou Reed in her boyfriend’s band and possessing rare jazz records, people will sense her snobbish attitude. The track is very calming and melodic, but listeners might not be able to decipher if she is being narcissistic or mocking the hipster culture. Listeners will have to decide if this is her “look-at-me attitude” or if this is a dig at Brooklyn culture in the 60’s. Fans will be happy with the song. Others will be intrigued with lines like, “I’ve got feathers in my hair/ I get high on hydroponic weed.”

The track “Money Power Glory” attempts to reassure listeners that Lana Del Rey is a poor girl that wants to come up in the world. The song tells the story of dope, idiocy, basically a hard-knock lifestyle. “Hallelujah, I wanna take you for all that you got” echoes in the chorus. She sings about payback and aggression that only a white suburban girl would know about in the 21st century. The song is well written and the music is arranged perfectly, but listeners won’t believe what is being said. The lyrics seem silly, “Dope and diamonds, dope and diamonds, diamonds.” The song turns into this ridiculous spin; if Ice Cube started singing about his weekends at the country club with his esquire Sir Frances of Yorkshire, he could do it but it wouldn’t be authentic. She goes from pompous, to straight out of Compton in one song. The song seems forced and a bad attempt to do something different.

It is clear that Lana Del Rey’s style is a paradox. She has a sweet voice. Some of her songs show that she isn’t all about love and bubble-gum, but someone needs to tell her she is not a gangsta’. The album has a number of good tracks like “The Other Woman,” “Sad Girl” and “Shades of Cool.” But the good songs are mixed with the hard-knock life that she sounds and looks like she has never had. The best thing about this record, no one swears at listeners with a sweeter voice than Lana Del Rey.