I did my absolute best to avoid Lana Del Rey
. I went most of my life without listening to anything shes released, and Im proud of that. Who wants to listen to someone who describes themselves as Lolita lost in the hood while spewing faux-deep bullshit [Ed. Note: It's almost as if she has no idea what Nabokov's Lolita
was really about or she's never come to terms with the fact of what cultural appropriation is]?
Which is why it pains me to admit that her third LP, Honeymoon
, is a wonderful album -- but only from a purely sonic perspective. The record is James Bond meets American Horror Story
, and Del Reys voice is lovely. The instrumentation is heavy on orchestral arrangements, and every song feels spacious and ethereal. If you listen to the album just focusing on sound, its phenomenal. But the lyrics are beyond shallow. Sure, Del Rey has a beautiful voice, but once you read the lyrical content, who cares? Del Rey seems to be just telling the same story of heartbreak and wanting to get drunk fourteen times in a row, occasionally throwing in something offensive to break the monotony.
Lana Del Rey has a history of doing things that are vaguely offensive. Shes appropriates Latin culture, she writes a lot about drug culture and being ghetto, and shes been romanticizing the hell out of sexual violence for years. On Honeymoon
s namesake track, she writes about being in love with a man who is well known for being violent. The song is pretty sexual; she describes the roses in between my thighs and her suitors aggression in the same breath. Art Deco, halfway through the album, describes a woman struggling with a drug addiction who is desperate for attention, calling her so ghetto as if it was a compliment rather than a microaggression.
Theres no doubt in my mind that Del Rey is talented. Shes a gifted songwriter, and she has amazing control over of her voice. Her sadcore, old school Hollywood style is is inventive, and her harmonies keep her music interesting. But nearly every song sounds the same, whether lyrically or musically, and her lyrics are tired and worn out. Honeymoon
is a great album to listen to when youre trying to wind down and get ready for bed, but if youre looking to listen to something and actually enjoy it at a substantive level, look elsewhere.