Lana Del Rey’s new album echoes turmoil


Beau Benoit

“Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd” finds Lana Del Rey at her darkest and most vulnerable. The echoing present in many of her songs places listeners right in Rey’s mind, with her thoughts reverberating back and forth, repeating and overthinking as she does. 

The album’s titular song lets listeners know Rey’s feelings of fear and desperation. Her allusion to Harry Nelson’s voice cracking when saying, “Don’t forget me,” and her subsequent repetition of the phrase gives the impression that Rey is losing time. 

Rey doesn’t want people to discard her and move to the next musician who can write sad songs. 

The album also explores a darker, more visceral side of Rey than her previous releases. 

Listeners have had time to enjoy “A&W” since before the album’s release. But listening to it in the context of the album truly creates a vivid image of hurt and heartbreak. 

Rey expresses indifference toward her love affairs at this dark point in her life through the lyrics, “It’s not about havin’ someone to love me anymore. This is the experience of bein’ an American whore.” 

More introspection comes immediately after “A&W” with “Judah Smith Interlude.” A man is heard preaching, and his words act as chances for Rey to self-reflect. He talks of questioning why God made “puny, mortal man” when He made the stars in the sky. 

Rey could be referencing a question of her own: why would someone choose to deal with her woes and hardships if other, more desirable people exist? 

The man’s final words, “I’ve discovered my preaching is mostly about me,” reference Rey stepping back and realizing her songs don’t pick apart people and their misfortunes; her songs are autobiographies. 

In this sea of sorrow, a light shines through “Kintsugi.” Over and over, she sings, “That’s how the light gets in,” after she mentions cracking open. 

The title is a reference to a Japanese style of art restoration in which cracks in ceramics are not merely plastered and hidden. Instead, they are fixed with lacquer containing flakes and speckles of precious metals such as silver, platinum and gold. 

Rey realizes to begin healing, she must be vulnerable and allow her breaks to be visible.

Lana Del Rey’s latest album comes in the form of a torrent of emotion. Rey’s iconic soft vocals combined with harsh, impactful lyrics show her at her rawest state of vulnerability.