The Only Lana Del Rey Opinion that Matters: Mine

Luiza Douglas, Editor

It was third period Bulldog Time. Ms. Gilliam’s room was filled with dim lighting and its usual pleasant aroma paired with some cool air, provided by the assorted fans that are on every day regardless of the season. As I turned to the left in my front row seat to have my daily Bulldog Time chat with peer Hannah Choy, she bombarded me with the question: “So what’d you think of the new Lana album?” 

As I held back my screams of anger, enthusiasm, and confusion, I sped-walked down to the third floor and into Mr. Avett’s room to borrow his magnificent Minnie Mouse headphones. I had a quick freak out in front of another peer, Toby Russell, and Mr. Avett himself. As Lana Del Rey’s, self-proclaimed, biggest fan, this new album took me by surprise. And not in a good way. Though I tend to complain and highlight the negatives of new albums, only for the album to grow on me the more I listen to it, I really don’t think this album will. With over half of the album consisting of songs with overwhelming features, absurdly long titles, and songs with no real relevance or theme between each other, this album will have to do the work in order to gain my Lana Del Rey certified approval.

For my first couple listens, I found myself not enjoying the music, rather skipping numerous collabs made on the album, including the Judah Smith interlude which just consisted of some guy preaching about something useless. Though I love Jon Batiste, his interlude on the album was another waste of space as it just consisted of him talking to Lana and her laughing in response. For a whole four minutes. Only seven of the 16 songs were solely written by Lana Del Rey, with all the rest being songs with an overwhelming presence of those who collaborated on the song. With this, this album almost felt separate from Del Rey as it let other people shine and be heard more than her. Which is kind but I feel like for her first album after an almost-three-year hiatus, the album should have focused more on her and how she’s progressed and changed from her last album, Blue Banisters. With these numerous collabs and opportunities for other people to show off their talent on the album, the album lacks a theme. As each of the other artists have different takes on their music, such as Jon Batiste’s jazz and Father John Misty’s country voice, the overall voice of the album is lacking, which gives the album a boring and rushed feeling. 

Onto the looks aspect of the album, the album cover was just a little weird and once again crowded with so many other people other than Lana Del Rey. With all the collabs in the album on the cover and even though Lana Del Rey’s face is the focal point of it, it still feels cheap and sort of left behind in the production and style process of the album. Though Del Rey does make up for this though as she put out other versions of the album through Amazon and Target exclusives, which don’t have all the collaborations on the cover and have the usual assortment of pictures of Lana that depict the album’s feel. The album also had immensely long names for songs such as, “Grandfather please stand on the shoulders of my father while he’s deep sea fishing.” Like seriously? She could have compacted that a bit more because come on I’m not going to ask anyone if they liked that song when the title is a paragraph long. Along with the album visuals, the merch for this album just looked so cheap and reminded me of old designs that she released for Blue Banisters. I was looking forward to the cute jewelry that she put out for her previous albums, such as the gold heart shaped coke necklace with the release of Ultraviolence. But this merch line of jewelry consisted of cheap looking necklaces that you could tell had been put no effort into. Apart from the accessory side of the merch, the clothing side didn’t do much better as both the sweatshirt and t-shirt graphic looked unfinished. Though I have to say the engraved gold pill case she put out with the album is pretty on point and iconic, but I’m unsure if that could make up for the other lazily done merch. 


On the other hand, if there was any chance for this album to grow on me, it would be through these songs Sweet, Candy Necklace, Paris, Texas, Peppers, and Let the Light In. These songs held the delicate yet desperate voice of Lana Del Rey that we all cherish and look forward to when she releases new music. Along with genius lyrics such as, “You’ve been acting pretty restless. Dancin’ like the young and restless. And I’m obsessed with it. Candy necklaces,” in Candy Necklace. These lyrics that fill this song just bring me so much joy as they feel nostalgic with Del Rey’s out of breath voice fills the song paired with Jon Batiste’s piano skills, creating the perfect merge of both artists with neither overpowering the other. 


For someone who started listening to Lana Del Rey a couple years ago and never got to see what her releasing a new album was like until now, I feel as though I’ve been given the watered down Del Rey. As I missed the prime of her career in 2014 when she released iconic music and merch for listeners like me to admire her and her take on pop. But with all the hype and my personal excitement that surrounded this album, I feel honestly disappointed but yet, I believe that nothing could stop my love for her music, even the flop of an album.