fri 07/08/2020

CD: Lana Del Rey - Honeymoon | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Lana Del Rey - Honeymoon

CD: Lana Del Rey - Honeymoon

World-weary singer ramps up the sophistication and channels Blue Velvet’s Dorothy Vallens

'Honeymoon': a sophisticated world-weariness

Lana Del Rey’s breakthrough single “Video Games” and its parent album, Born To Die gave the impression of a modern day Nancy Sinatra with added hip hop production, while its follow-up Ultraviolence added a bluesy twist to her sound. Honeymoon, however, brings a sophisticated world-weariness to the party and may come to be regarded as her signature album in years to come.

Whereas Del Rey previously gave the impression of being a hip young thing that did the odd daft thing, now she seems to be channelling Dorothy Vallens, from David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, with tales of melancholy and regret that suggest that she does nothing but make bad decisions. Stylistically she also seems to be edging ever closer to territory more associated with the likes of Leonard Cohen and Nina Simone – which is no bad thing. She even covers “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” in the Simone style, much as she did with “The Other Woman” on Ultraviolence. Indeed, while there has been much excitement of late over who will be singing the forthcoming Bond Theme, Honeymoon suggests that the producers may have missed a trick by not snapping up Lana for the part.

Sultry sophistication, cinematic soundscapes, sparse orchestration and doomed relationships may be the touchstones for Honeymoon but there is also an underlying menace which brings a sneaky subversion to the proceedings. There is nothing life-affirming about this album but a subtle knowingness prevents it slipping into pseudo-gothic misery. In fact, in a world without conformity-worshipping radio producers, the snarky “High By the Beach” or Bowie-quoting “Terrance Loves You” could make quite a mark. Nevertheless, the over-long Honeymoon is slightly let down by a lack of variety that suggests that some judicious editing could have transformed this rather good album into something great.

There is nothing life-affirming about this album but a subtle knowingness prevents it slipping into pseudo-gothic misery

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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