Skip to main content

Lana Del Rey - Honeymoon (Review)

14 months after the release of the more guitar driven (yet tragically sublime) 'Ultraviolence', the elevated femme fetale of pop returns with the more cinematic and sophisticated 'Honeymoon'. Gone are the gritty riffs of psychedelic rock and indie music influences; this time Lana returns to a more familiar platform that is more akin to her debut 'Born To Die'. The songs swoop lavishly up and down in cinematic style, full of orchestral highs and gloomy vocal lows layered with film-noir/poetic references.
Thematically, the album revisits familiar territory with Del Rey embodying the troubled jazz singer wrapped in the fabric of film noir, falling for the bad boy that she can't have. The haunting 'Terrence Loves You' stirs a silky vocal into a near wail whilst blended with idyllic tones of jazz, whilst 'Salvatore' could be an extract from an Italian soap opera, swooping from bell whistles to sultry violin strings in the space of a few seconds. Never one to shy away from the pressures of fame, this is explored in the heart breaking ballad 'God Knows I Tried', whilst referring to her spectators and critiques in the title track's opening track - "We both know that it's not fashionable to love me". Her authenticity has always been at the core of her music and her persona (forgetting Lizzy Grant hides behind the baby doll eyes of Lana Del Rey), but 'Honeymoon' takes that authenticity and elevates it high to such an extreme without ever becoming laughable or caricturesque.

The record thrives on her obsession the American dream, film noir and the image of the strong woman driven by sexuality. These figures tell a story designed to bring us into the world Del Rey inhabits, one of classic timelessness hand in hand with crooning melodies that conjure up a paradise of idyllic proportions - particularly in the extremely catchy lead single 'High By The Beach' - one that could be taken from the pages of Jacqueline Susann's 'Valley of the Dolls'.
'Honeymoon' reaffirms the inner sadness that one now commonly associates with Lana Del Rey and her musings of heartbreak and despair, longing to revel in her isolation - explicitly referenced where she asks her lover "to be a freak like me" - in a world where she feels lost and misunderstood; ironically the final song on the record is a cover of Nina Simone's "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood'. The highlight of 'Honeymoon' comes in the astonishing '24', a bold slow burner of a song that has James Bond written all over it, soaring to such extraordinary highs and climaxing in true orchestral style. If the producers of 'Spectre' were to reconsider, they would find themselves with an Oscar-worthy record. Everything then comes to a jarring halt in the drum-lead 'Swan Song', where Rey repeatedly states that she "won't sing again" and that she'll "leave the world for the ones who change everything". If this is to be a meaningful and symbolic farewell to the construct of Lana Del Rey, or even her career, then she bows out with the style, poise and grace her idols would no doubt approve of. Rey encourages her listener - or lover - to cherish every second. Because let's face it, the Honeymoon period never lasts long but every second is still bittersweet.


Popular posts from this blog

How Not To Be A Boy - Robert Webb

"What are we saying to a boy when we tell him to 'man up' or 'act like a man'? More often we're effectively saying, 'Stop expressing those feelings.' And if the boy hears that often enough, it actually starts to sound uncannily like, 'Stop feeling those feelings.'"

Herein lies the main issue that surrounds Robert Webb's new book How Not To Be A Boy, the idea of how much damage that can be inflicted on to young boys when they are encouraged to behave in ways that supposedly befit their gender. But Webb interweaves this idea tenderly with an autobiographical tale of him growing up in 1970s Lincolnshire with a working class woodcutter for a father and a mother who was tragically taken from him when he was just seventeen. 

   Webb frankly admits how he never really felt like much of a 'boy', taking a dislike for sport, writing a diary, having sticky-out ribs and liking poetry. He is told how he is 'sensitive' and 'shy'…

How to Stop Time - Matt Haig

"I suddenly realise it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter that we age differently. It doesn't matter that there is no way of resisting the laws of time. The time ahead of you is the like the land beyond the ice. You can guess what it could be like but you can never know. All you know is the moment you are in."

Imagine, for a second, that you were different to everyone else. To others, you may seem like a rather ordinary forty year old, but the reality is you're closer to four hundred and ninety. This is the problem of Tom Hazard, the protagonist of Matt Haig's incredible new novel How to Stop Time. Tom suffers from a rare condition that has caused him to be alive for centuries, ageing one physical year every fifteen years. Always on the move to avoid suspicion, Tom now works in a secondary school as a history teacher, but the one rule he is told never to break keeps making itself known; never fall in love. 

  The joyous quality with Matt Haig is that he trul…

The Power - Naomi Alderman

"Jews: look to Miriam, not Moses, for what you can learn from her. Muslims: look to Fatimah, not Muhammad. Buddhists, remember Tara, the mother of liberation. Christians: pray to Mary for your salvation." It is through these haunting words that Naomi Alderman creates a novel so bold and so daring in order to show us how the present structures of society need a change, and offers us a glimpse of what would happen if you flipped the gender roles in which women rule the world. What would then happen if men lived in fear of women?

The Power begins as teenage girls over the world discover they can release electrical jolts from their fingertips, ranging from a slight tickle to the ability to kill. Men are segregated for their own safety, countries verge on war on a day-to-day basis as more girls harness this 'power' and use it to awaken it in older women. As this all unfolds, the story weaves between four narrative voices: Roxy, daughter of a London mobster, Allie, a teenag…