Tired of listening to music that all sounds the same? Jaded listeners should check out Lana Del Rey’s new album, Honeymoon. In her most recent work, Lana Del Rey remains faithful to her signature sensuous vocals. However, Honeymoon incorporates several new elements that may surprise even the most avid Del Rey fan.
As in her previous albums, Del Rey engineered Honeymoon through masterful lyricism and modern melodies that evoke vintage film scores. The title song sets the stage by utilizing a contrast of sweeping strings and understated vocals. Del Rey continues the drama with masterful ballads such as “Terrence Loves You,” “The Blackest Day,” and “Freak.”
Exciting new components include milky, mellow brass and guitar accents, and new heights in Del Rey’s already impressive vocal range.
Fans of Del Rey should expect to be surprised at times: while she stays true to her genre, several of her songs involve significant departures from her established style. For example, “Music to Watch Boys To” pairs icy vocals with soft percussion and warm strings, quite the contrast from Del Rey’s customarily deep intonations.
Other surprising moments include a brief interlude titled “Burnt Norton” and a cover of The Animals’ “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” As Del Rey recently told Billboard, she wished to conclude the new album with a jazz cover after her successful cover of Jesse Mae Robinson’s “The Other Woman.” Thanks to Del Rey’s smoky vocals, “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” completes rather than detracts from Honeymoon’s uniform aesthetic.
In Honeymoon, Del Rey lends us front row seats to her recent, exciting developments as a musician. The album is also a beautifully rendered indication of Del Rey’s personal journey as a figure in mainstream culture. Subtle undertones include reflections on her early days of fame and the wide-eyed wonder of a budding starlet. Del Rey conveys a sense of dissatisfaction with fame in “God Knows I Tried” when she sings “I feel free when I see no one and nobody knows my name.” Stagnancy in stardom is an evident theme in Del Rey’s most recent music.
According to Del Rey, her concept for Honeymoon is inspired by a conflation of dreamy beach honeymoons and hopeless American decadence. Engaging her throaty contralto abilities, Del Rey conveys a dark vision of doomed love and failed American dreams. The honeymoon has proven hopeless and nightmarishly impermanent.
I will probably keep Honeymoon on repeat for the next couple weeks. Treat yourself to her carefully crafted, intentional lyrics matched with melancholy melodies. The album makes especially excellent listening for introspection, study sessions, and any occasions when you want your music to feel emotions so you don’t have to. Let Lana Del Rey do the talking: she has a lot to say.