Lana Del Rey’s album is the definition of perfection

October 17, 2015 — by Eric Sze

Lana del Rey's newest album "Honeymoon" stirs up nostalgia and sorrow with her strong vocals.

Once again, the queen has dropped a fabulous album.

There’s nothing quite like the voice and songwriting of Lana Del Rey, who has the ability to stir up both nostalgia and sorrow, emotions rarely evoked by today’s fast beats and brassy tunes. Since rising to prominence with the release of her album “Born to Die” in 2012, Del Rey has delivered one outstanding album after the other, with “Paradise” in 2012, “Ultraviolence” in 2014 and her long-awaited album, “Honeymoon,” on Sept. 18.

“Honeymoon” focuses primarily on Del Rey’s struggle with relationships and love. With 14 tracks and replete with Del Rey’s soaring vocals, the album is one of her strongest to date.

The album’s first and title track is “Honeymoon,” a melancholy ballad in which Del Rey reminisces about her past love. The song opens with a slow tempo, accompanied by a couple of string instruments, and dies down before she begins her first verse.

As with most Lana Del Rey albums, the highlight is her voice, which, in this song, is more refreshingly raw than ever. Del Rey surprises and delights, both with her voice and with her lyrics. Despite its enchanting title, “Honeymoon” is not an ode to rainbows and sunshine, but rather an account of hopelessness and grief, of yielding logic to dreams as life passes by.

We are taken even further into Del Rey’s complex and distressing love life with the album’s  lead single, “High by the Beach.” In this track, Del Rey shoves her past lover into the ocean, singing, “You could be a bad [expletive], but that don't make you a man, now you're just another one of my problems.” In this track, Del Rey proves her utter transformation from her persona in “Honeymoon,” emphasizing that she now has power over her lover and isn’t going to be another girl who allows her dream man to take control of her.

“24” is one of the darker songs on the album. Del Rey sings of spending her days dealing with an abusive lover, lamenting that “there's only 24 hours in a day, and half of those, you lay awake, with thoughts of murder and carnage.”

The value of this song lies in its relatability: Del Rey describes a difficult situation that some people face every day. In a somewhat ominous tone, Del Rey then warns, “Be careful of the ones you choose to leave.” She could be referring to her lover in this line and in the final line of the song, where she sings “you're cold to touch”; “you’re” perhaps references the lover that she possibly murdered due to his actions towards her. In a way, this song could be talking about the type of life Del Rey does not want to be trapped in, and she reveals what such a situation would do to her well-being. Although this track has a eerie, fairly frightening tone to it, I still found it to be one of the strongest on the album, as it showcased Del Rey’s ability to hit both high and low notes.

An odd, but interesting twist to the album isn’t in any of songs, but in the album’s cover art itself. Embedded on the Starline Tours vehicle on the album is the number 800-268-7886. Although no longer active, calling the number before the album was released would direct the caller to the “Honeymoon Hotline,” which would give out information about the album and play a prerecorded message from Del Rey, subsequently allowing the caller to listen to “Terrence Loves You,” a Ted Talk by billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, or a talk on the origins of the universe.

Although the album was released over a month ago, it still occupies a large chunk of my playlist. And as the album has had 105,000 sales to date and became the No. 2 album on Billboard in its first release week, I’m sure many of her songs take up space in others’ playlists as well.

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