Monday, October 13, 2014

Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence

I know, I'm supposed to be the metal guy.  What would I possibly know about music like this?  And Lana Del Rey certainly isn't an underground artist like most of the bands and artists we write about here.  However, when an album comes along that is this good, when songs like this are written and shared with us, we all need to take notice.  Great music is great no matter what genre or style it takes.

This is an incredible set of songs.  I could write for days, dissecting the lyrics and pointing out the genius therein.  If you know anything about Lana Del Rey, you know that there is no topic that she will shy away from.  Her lyrics are open and raw and real.  She writes about her life and all the dirty little details that make it up.  For example, with all the uproar over domestic violence that has been in the news, she writes the line, “He hit me and it felt like a kiss.”  Most artists tackle the subject to disapprove, she just writes an honest line about what it is like.

As I said, there is genius at work here.  Lots of artists are capable of writing songs filled with the more sordid side of life, but not many can do it in a way that sucks you in and makes you want to listen.  Drug use, domestic violence, infidelity in the form of being the other woman, using sex as a tool for advancement, all these and more are dealt with.  There is a languor and lassitude to these songs that pulls you in like a siren's song.  You start listening because the songs are just so well written and crafted that the melody has you, and then you start listening and hear a lyric and think, “Damn, did she just sing that?” 

I would listen to these songs even if she sang like Kermit the Frog because the writing is so good.  But Lana's voice is a true instrument.  She is able to use it in such a wide variety of ways, with so much nuance in her singing.  She croons, she purrs, she lets it go full blast, whatever the song and lyric require.  Her style enhances what she sings about, so that you feel it even more.  These songs are especially about a feeling.  They get under your skin and into your bloodstream like a needle full of the good stuff.  I have had this CD on repeat, over and over again.  I hear these songs bouncing around in my head even when the CD isn't on.  I want to listen to this music as much as I can.  That is the sign of a great album to me.

You might think this is too “pop” for you.  It's not that cool stoner rock band that no one else knows about so how can you listen to this?  If you think of yourself as a fan of music, you owe it to yourself to check this out.  I don't know much about Ms. Del Rey.  She may be absolutely bat shit crazy but she can write, and she can bring her songs to life.  There are tons of bands and artists who can do one but not the other.  She is a rare combination who can make any topic accessible.  These songs deserve to be listened to, and enjoyed and appreciated for what they are.  So do it.


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