If Marilyn Monroe was transformed into a series of melodies, they’d be coming from Lana Del Rey.
Like Monroe, Del Rey’s music uniquely and masterfully possesses conflicting qualities of sexuality and innocence. Creating a sensual sophistication that appeals to both men and women, her music is elegant with signature orchestral intros, hip with a poppy-techno influence and soulful with real words and honest melodies. Del Rey is a classy girl who’s not afraid of the “f” word on the tip of her tongue.
The first time I heard Lana Del Rey was on an H&M commercial. A chic and mysterious woman in a dark dressing room sang in a trance, “She wore blue velvet. Bluer than velvet was the night, softer than satin was the light from the stars.” It was sultry and sensual and man, was it cool. The kind of cool that is the air between smooth lips and slow curves.
Her breakthrough album, “Born to Die,” had songs that hit with hot beats and sexy psychedelic twists such as “Off To the Races,” “National Anthem” and “Summertime Sadness.”
Del Rey slows down the rhythm in her newest release, “Ultraviolence,” taking a turn from the hype of upbeat melodies, and into a dream-like melancholy—a compilation of softer and bluesier music. “Brooklyn Baby” is by far my favorite track. It invokes me to sway to the slow, creamy tunes and humming lyrics like, “My jazz collection’s rare. I can play most anything, I’m a Brooklyn baby.” “Shades of Cool” and “West Coast” are stunning tracks with darker elements that contradict their lullaby-esque rhythm.
Ultraviolence is full of emotional turmoil. It is a majestic wave that makes your heart ache when it crashes and picks you up for another ride. I give this album 3.5 stars.