Let’s Talk About: Ultraviolence

LDRThinking back to the ‘official’ beginnings of Lana Del Rey, with her release of “Video Games” in 2011 and comparing it to Ultraviolence, there is a familiarity in her music masked by a newfound maturity and rawness. Lana has proved herself to be the queen of crooning ballads and melancholy anthems, yet, underneath the icy surfaces of her previous works, there has been a warm core. A core with summer-athem capabilities, as seen with songs such as “National Anthem” and the well known remix that stemmed from  “Summertime Sadness.” With Ultraviolence, this is not the case. This album exudes maturity, but also occasionally reveals hints of something similar to vengeance. Lana is often criticized for her songs like “Without You,” which seem to undermine the idea of feminism and independence. With her latest release, that Lana is present but is juxtaposed with the new Lana who seems to be growing from the past and using her previous experiences as momentum to move forward.

Creatively, Lana always blows it out of the water. On this album, she incorporates a lot of references (Crystals- “He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss)” & Phil Collins- “In The Air Tonight” among others). One of the things I have always found fascinating about Lana are the references she makes, both blatantly obvious ones and those that are not so easily understood. In “Brooklyn Baby” she refers to beat poetry and reading, in the same vein as when she referenced Walt Whitman’s “I Sing the Body Electric” on Paradise. Maybe it is because I love English, but I have always found these nods to things beyond the category of music extraordinarily charming.

Money Power Glory,” “Black Beauty,” “Brooklyn Baby,” “Ultraviolence“- one after another I am blown away by Lana’s familiar, yet entirely new sounding ballads. Then a song like “Florida Kilos” comes out of nowhere, with an introductory guitar riff that sounds like something from an early Weezer album.  This is then followed by songs like “Pretty When You Cry” and “Is This Happiness” which convey a genuine feeling of sadness and pain, more so than ever before.

No one knows the exact meaning behind the songs written on albums other than the artists themselves. However, when trying to see, or listen, beneath the surface of the music and the lyrics to obtain a real idea of the overall theme of this album, I think a powerful story reveals itself. In the past, Lana, much like any artist, has received a lot of love, but also an overwhelming amount of hate. People constantly criticize her life and scrutinize her upbringing and the choices she has made. The album seems to serve almost as a response to everything she has gone through. Yes, it appears as though her life is wonderful, she gets to tour the world and do what she loves. Yes, it appears as though she came from a wealthy upbringing and has always had it easy. Yes, she sometimes seems a bit hesitant to explore independence, yadda yadda. But sometimes, the grass isn’t always greener, sometimes you don’t understand what someone has gone through until you take a walk in their shoes,  sometimes you get your heart broken. Beside being a work of music, and a work of art,  Ultraviolence is a story. The story of Lana’s past, her saying screw it, and looking ahead for all that is to come.

Let’s Talk About: Upcoming Records

I am sooooo beyond excited for all of the new albums coming out this year, some that I know of right now and some that will probably be announced in the near future. Hip hip horraaayy for 2014.

No Mythologies To Follow- MØ: This debut album is being released on March 10th and I am pumpppped. I have mentioned MØ several times before, and I am very confident she is going to receive a lot of accolades for this record. Over the past few weeks she has been releasing snippets of her new tracks on instagram (momomoyouth) and they sound just as thrilling and amazing as the songs previously released. There is something so incredibly cool about her sound, I cannot wait, I cannot wait, I cannot wait, squirrel!! (<– poor attempt to be funny/ make an UP reference).

Brooke Fraser: Brooke has yet to release any information about her upcoming album, except that she will be releasing one this year. I am very excited about Brooke’s new album in particular, based on the greatness exhibited in her past few albums. What I like the most about her previous albums, is that on each album she brings a new sound/vibe, yet is able to remain the same Brooke Fraser that we know. I hope a tour comes along with this album, fingys (fingers) crossed.

Ultraviolence- Lana Del Rey: Mark your calendars for May 1st everybody, for that is the day Ultraviolence is being released. To be honest, I do not know what to expect from this album in the slightest. When you listen to the songs from Born To Die and the Paradise Edition, her songs all sound different, but similar at the same time, if that makes sense. I guess when you listen to them, right away you can tell it is a Lana Del Rey song because they all possess the same vibe. However, when you listen to her songs that were never released from her Lizzy Grant and May Jailer days, her songs are very different. Still very good, but different. That is why I don’t know what awaits us on Ultraviolence. I saw something on twitter that said that she said her new album was a bit rappish and reggae, which is a bit alarming, but also not from the mouth of Lana herself, I take it. Social Media these days, sheese I have to break out my snuggy and an extra large coffee just to keep up.

Paul McDonald & Nikki Reed: I very rarely mention these two in my posts. When I first posted one of their videos, it did not get great feedback. However, I really suggest buying their new album, whenever it comes out. They have mentioned recently that they are putting the finishing touches on it, and I am waiting with anticipation. If you don’t know who these two are, Nikki is Rosalie from the Twilight Series (lol) and Paul is her husband, an ex contestant of American Idol and singer for the band The Grand Magnolias. Now, when you lay it out like that, it sounds very ominous. I agree, I thought their first EP was going to be terrible, but to my surprise it was actually amazing. They are both extremely talented and Paul has one of the coolest voices I have heard in a while. They compliment each other so well, and it is actually adorable (and musically amazing, but so cute I can’t). You will not regret checking them out. 

Aside from these highlights, I cannot wait to see what else 2014 brings. 2013 was certainly a powerful year for music and I am sure 2014 will be just the same. 

Let’s Talk About: Ultraviolence

GAHHHH I am so incredibly excited. Lana is so obviously so nice to her fans (not that I have ever met her, but I mean, I can tell) and the fact that she is more proud of this album than her previous ones is very telling of the product she will be putting out. Let the countdown begin. Or the Hunger Games, that works with the beginning of that sentence too.