Published on March 27, 2023 at 7:57 p.m.
A big comeback. In 2021, Lana Del Rey was in great shape, releasing two albums a few months apart: “Chemtrails Over the Country Club” and “Blue Banisters”, whose posterity did not reach that of “Norman Fucking Rockwell” ( 2019). For her ninth album, “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd”, available since March 24, the singer-songwriter therefore called on producer Jack Antonoff – notably known for his work with Taylor Swift and Lorde.
Result ? 16 tracks (and two interludes) and 1h17 of epic, direction the real Lana Del Rey: a 37-year-old woman who wants to show us that she is not only there to feed our playlist of sad ballads – even if she is there still excels – and multiplies the references and sources of inspiration like never before, from gospel to rap. This new album is not half-discovered, it is apprehended and, in the end, gives us the keys to hopefully understand the American icon a little better. Here are three things to remember.
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Lana Del Rey shares her most intimate record
It took twelve years of career under the name of Lana Del Rey for her to reveal herself so much: love, family, spirituality… Everything goes. As often, it’s about feelings and emotional questions (“Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd”, “Sweet”, “Kintsugi”). But especially of his family (parents, sister, grandparents) with references scattered on several tracks. Thus, the album opens with “The Grants” – a name that refers directly to her family since Lana Del Rey is actually called Elizabeth Woolridge Grant – on which she evokes her sister’s child and her mother’s smile. Grandmother. In “Grandfather Please Stand On My Father Shoulders While He’s Deep Sea-Fishing”, the longest track on the album, she speaks directly to her grandfather: “Grandfather, please stand you on my father’s shoulders while he fishes for sharks on the high seas in the Pacific”.
Lana Del Rey is well surrounded
To give life to “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd”, Lana Del Rey surrounded herself with producer Jack Antonoff for the third time. On Instagram, moreover, the American shared the happiness of this new collaboration through several shots: “I love you Lana and I love the time spent together”. What is then striking when looking at the album’s tracklisting is the number of duets. Five in number, they bring together artists with inspirations from different backgrounds: rapper Tommy Genesis (“Peppers”), folk singer Father John Misty (“Let The Light In”), Grammy-winning pianist Jon Batiste, indie singer SYML. And, finally, “Margaret”, a duet with Blechers, which is none other than the stage name of Jack Antonoff. No coincidence: Margaret is his fiancée, Margaret Qualley (seen in the Netflix series “Maid” and incidentally Andie McDowell’s daughter) on which Lana Del Rey has fun recounting their meeting: “Margaret is on a roof, she was wearing white and he thought, ‘I could be in trouble’.
Lana Del Rey is not here to make hits
“Video Games”, “Born To Die”, “National Anthem”, “Summertime Sadness”, “Blue Jeans”, “West Coast”… Over the years, Lana Del Rey has established herself with catchy titles and incomparable poetry – in the category of popstars. With her sweet and melancholic voice, she is also recognizable for her lyrics, always written with an open heart. Listening to “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd”, we quickly understand that the artist is not there to serve us choruses to sing in a loop like “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus, but to tell us about long stories (most titles are longer than five minutes), somewhere between diary and poetry. A real poet in the making? In 2020, she took advantage of the confinement to release a first collection of poems: “Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass”. This ninth album will therefore not offer any hits – the first two singles presented (“Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd” and “A&W”) remain the most “streamed” -, but the assurance that Lana Del Rey n hasn’t finished captivating us.