Lana Del Rey is back with the follow up to her first album ‘Born To Die’ with a much more toned down sultry sound. Soaring orchestras are traded in for the ambient tones of melancholy with simple guitar chords, tinkling piano keys, and her voice more angelic, seductive and desirable than we’ve heard before.
Soaring love songs are swapped for bitter, violent love stories as she delves deep into her past passionate romances with the damaged world. Opening track ‘Cruel World’ depicts a lost in love alcoholic, ‘Shades of Cool’ almost a Bond opening track serenading a long lost loved one who epitomized her obsession with danger.
‘Fucked My Way Up to The Top’ is a controversial choice as she alludes to selling her self out to seek fame, maybe a hint to her previous relationship with a record executive before she became the Del Rey we know now. On ‘Old Money’ her unique voice sounds, as if she were the glamorous icon in the Bel Air hills by a grand piano as delicate jazz blues are combined with a glorious string score.
If you’re looking for the hip-hop fused pop love songs like ‘Born to Die’ had then you’re in the wrong place. For her second album, jazz blues are scored with subtle strings and angelic harmonies mixed with melancholic dark lyrics, a more emotional, touching and dangerous album that for me matches her vintage vocals more than her debut.
Favourite Track: A hard choice between emotional striking heavenly harmonies in title track ‘Ultraviolence’ and simply touching ‘Pretty When You Cry’, one that defines the gloomy mournful attitude she brings to this record.
Review by Kat Bagshawe