Lana Del Rey - Did you know that there's a tunnel under Ocean Blvd

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I decided to listen to this at midnight and I don’t think I have the right words to really articulate how it’s made me feel right now but Kintsugi and Figertips are probably among the best things she’s ever written. Some of the lyrics (when you figure out what she’s actually saying through the mumbling) actually made me gasp. I feel like the lyrical content in those songs particularly are like a bridge straight back to Born To Die and really reframe the debut and her perspective makes so much more sense with the context of her familial experiences.

Margaret was another standout and just feels really sincere, Candy Necklace is kinda terrifying and Father John Misty ate.

The final run of tracks honestly feels like Lana trolling and reminding us of her credentials and I’m all here for the psychedelic production being something that she delves deeper into in the future because bringing her lyrical quality into productions of that calibre would be insane. It’s actually quite a scream to me that her pen game has never been sharper and yet she chose to finish the record on VB but I was bopping.

This is going to rank very highly among her albums but it’s going to need a few more listens to sink in because it’s probably her most dense work lyrically. To be able to say that about someone on their 9th record is so special and she truly is a once in a lifetime type of artist to me.
 
TW/
I couldn’t hear what they said on the telephone
I had to sing for the prince in two hours
Sat in the shower
Gave myself two seconds to cry

Probably very heavy stuff to talk about, but this lyric really resonated with me earlier this week and it probably always will. I moved to university in September 2019 and then came home for my birthday in November, and my decade-long friends from home had planned me a weekend in the city over. One of their step-mothers who was struggling with addiction at the time gave her home to us for the weekend for them to help me celebrate, as I was the first to leave the town and it was a great time to have me back. My mum made a big deal and made me breakfast that morning, which I loved.

I got a text while I was at the table with my family that one of my friends at university had died overnight while I wasn't there. I remember looking at the message on my phone, processing for a moment, replying briefly and continuing with my weekend like I hadn't known the news. I told my friends after the club that night and kept it from my parents until I was back in London on the Monday morning.

All of this to say... I've never heard anything or anyone, let alone lyrics, explain what I did in that moment. I realised that it wasn't the time for me to process something so devastating yet, and I also became aware that the festivities my friends and family were throwing weren't necessarily for me, but for themselves and how they felt about me. Lana is singular in that she is so specific about these feelings and scenarios, and I couldn't have imagined she'd touch on something as niche as those moments at my family breakfast table that weekend. This is why I'm a fan since the debut and why she continues to capivate.
 
Some really strong stuff on here. Will need to sit with it more. I will say, this would benefit from the removal of any and all male vocals.
 
OK I'm... kinda hating this on first play. Like where the melodies at. All these spoken word affairs... I need some songs.
 


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I actually liked most of the songs but I'm not sure how much replay value this album will end up having to me, it's a bit exhausting - whoever compared this to Honeymoon was spot on.
Margaret, Let The Light In, Sweet and Fishtail are my favorites from the new tracks. Candy Necklace is a bore I can't believe it's the one getting a video.
 
The Grants - Great opener, great lyrics. The first minute of the track is completely unnecessary.
Did you know - Nice title track.
Sweet - Natural successor to Bel Air, and a really beautiful song. Makes me think of my boyfriend who I intend to marry.
A&W - Completely stellar. Modern Lana at her peak/
Candy Necklace - nice moody track, reminds me of Ultraviolence. The man is not necessary.
I will not be commenting on the interludes as they are garbage shit piss.
Kintsugi - very poginant. A nice song.
Fingertips - no time for this one. Meanders. Unnecessary.
Paris, Texas - great song. New territory for her, and she kills it.
Grandfather - nice song for sure. Production could be improved.
Let the Light in - Good song, would be better without FJM, he provides nothing
Margaret - same as Let the Light in, the man needs to fuck off.
Fishtail - Not great.
Peppers - What a bop! I need more of this and the A&W Jimmy bit going forward. Meshes the Lana and the bizarre quite well.
Taco Truck x VB - the VB bit was unnecessary. Taco Truck could have been extended as it was great. I'm in the minority that have always found Venice Bitch to be good, but not as good as its title, and definitely not needed to be referenced like this.

So far it's a 7/10 for me.
 
So excited to listen tomorrow! Was hoping my vinyl would have been shipped ahead of time so it would get here for my first listen but oh well. Might cancel my order and pick it up at a local shop if the indie variant is in stock.
 
'Uncompromising' is the one word that comes to mind when I think of this album. There's nothing here I could see luring in a new fan, nothing I can hear doing well on radio, nothing that screams 'obvious single' or a ploy for commercial gain. Sprawling, 6 minute deep cuts like Kintsugi and Fingertips are moved up from what-would-be the final quarter of another album's tracklist into the very center here, only after sitting through two eerie, puzzling, extended-length interludes. It's clear that the few moments of levity this album provides must be earned. Even the 'bops' sound somewhat loose and drowsy.

It doesn't surprise me there are quite a few mixed reviews coming in from the press, because (laughable listening experience for the critics aside) she isn't even trying to win them over here. To me, this is an album for the diehard fans. I can see it becoming somewhat of a cult classic later down the road (as many of her albums have come to be), but I wouldn't be shocked if "the outer world" found it to be one of her harder albums to engage with.

Personally, I think it's complex and beautiful. Lana's one of those artists I'll always happily follow into the dark.
 
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It's a beautifully produced album, but it feels very same-y track to track with no real peaks and valleys. She sounds great, but I don't see this as an album I'd revisit as a whole like I do with some of her previous works. I'm... whelmed.
 
I generally enjoy the writing in Pitchfork reviews (see the recent slam dunk about Caroline's album), but the author of this one said very little about... most of the album?
 
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