Oh Lana, you've truly out Del Rey’d yourself on Ultraviolence. Her second full-length effort is exactly what we've come to expect from the 28-year old death-obsessed starlet. The opening line on the title track ("He used to call me DN…it stood for deadly nightshade") pretty much sums up the album – a noir-tinged-horror-faerie-tale chock full of Lana-isms you knew were coming, yet still manage to hit you right between the eyes with just how ridiculous they are.
Ultraviolence (the album) comes after months of teasing, a celebrated lead single (West Coast), and a seemingly bizarre interview with The Guardian which went viral due to one particularly controversial statement. Published the day before the albums initial release date in European markets, the controversy surrounding her statements did nothing to hinder the artists sale figures. Ultraviolence ended up atop the US Billboard Hot 100 with 182,000 units sold, while also debuting at #1 in 11 other markets. But I digress.
Credited as a producer on 8 of the 11 tracks is Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, who concocts the albums main sound – a dream pop/classic rock hybrid that drags, bores and isn't nearly as interesting as it may appear on paper. When a pop artist chooses to work with a minimal amount of producers on an album, it normally means that those few – or that person chosen, has the goods to craft an LP which features a signature sound, but can also make each song easily distinguishable from one another.
Ultraviolence fails to do the latter, as it offers too much of the same dark and dreamy notes throughout. It’s simply too much to take in in one sitting.
The most interesting thing on this album as it turns out is the title of track nine: 'Fucked My Way Up To The Top'. But apart from that, I didn't find much worth celebrating about Lana's second full-length offering.
Not so crazy y cubano as one might've hoped.
Key Tracks: West Coast, Brooklyn Baby, Fucked My Way Up To The Top