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Album Review: Lana Del Ray’s ‘Ocean Blvd’

American singer-songwriter Lana Del Ray released her ninth album “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd,” last Friday. 

It debuted with 18,303,861 streams on its first day on Spotify, also her biggest album debut in Spotify history. “Ocean Blvd” also reached #1 on the Worldwide Apple Music Album Chart. According to an article posted on New York Times, the album is “a collection as sprawling, hypnotic and incorrigibly American as an interstate highway.” Online music publication pitchfork gave this album a rating of 8.3 and said it “arrives as a sweeping, sterling, often confounding work of self-mythology and psychoamericana.”

In this new album, the singer has reviewed and refined her whole career, and it can be said that the album collects all the moving moments of her entire career. The album, which consists of 16 tracks, takes listeners on a journey through Del Rey's signature sound of dreamy pop and introspective lyrics. 


On A&W, she used 808 beats to distill the sadness of the era; The Grants is a deeper exploration of modern folk that merges with the magic of her last two albums; Let The Lights In is full of her personal touch, the glittering texture of the American golden age. Candy Necklaces and Paris, Texas are like two articulated road movies; the former is her finally arriving at the disorienting utopia in her dream world, and the latter is the parting and retrospection after waking up from the dream. The first half of Taco Truck x VB, the last song on the album, has some same feelings as the album “Ultraviolence,” while the second half seems a bit darker. All of this shows her determination to make her music.

"Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd" showcases Del Rey's versatility as an artist. The album is very personal, as she talks about death and love in a way that allows the listener to empathize with her. The idea of "death" has been a recurring theme in her work, and 11 years ago, starting with the landmark album "Born to Die," which marked a pivotal point in her career, she began to describe death differently. But at that time, when Lana was talking about death, she was talking about love. Instead of “Born to Die,” it’s more like “Born to Love.” 

On this album, at 40, she is experiencing the death of loved ones. The Grants, the album's opening track, is the one that sets the tone, cutting through the church hymnal as if it were a funeral carol. Lana Del Rey's real name is Elizabeth Woolridge Grant, 

The song Kintsugi is a continuation of The Grants, a more detailed account of the successive deaths of three relatives. She was busy and only attending her grandmother's funeral. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold, and in this song, the passing of loved ones is like Kintsugi, cracked but still shining through.

Overall, "Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd" is a beautifully crafted album. Over the years, we have grown up together with her music. From “Born to Love” to cherishing the immediate and still living hard.

Edited By: Kyenila Taylor 

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Tags: #Music #AlbumReview #LanaDelRay


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