Lana Del Rey, the internet’s very own certified cool girl, has released her ninth studio album as of March 24.
Since the announcement of the album, originally slated for March 10, tracks were leaking left and right on the internet, forcing the starlet to release singles without much of a ripple. But, diehard fans have been listening and preparing for this release, lining up at record stores as part of Del Rey’s global listening event.
The album “Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd” is Del Rey’s most experimental to date. While still working with her longtime collaborators Jack Antonoff and Laura Sisk, for this album the artist brings in a slew of new features, including Jon Batiste, Father John Misty and Tommy Genesis.
From start to finish, Lana Del Rey delivers an ethereal, dynamic and enigmatic album in the way that fans have come to expect.
“Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd” is a whimsical lyrical journey that reflects on Del Rey’s past, identity and, as always, her relationships.
On track three, “Sweet,” she says, “I’m a different kind of woman/If you want some basic bitch go to the Beverly Center and find her.”
The song implores the muse of her sweetness, her difference. If Lana Del Rey is anything, she is not like other girls.
But Lana Del Rey surely knows her reputation as a woman who sings about men. She has never shied away from the topic in interviews or in her songs.
This is a theme she explores on “A&W,” coming in at a whopping seven minutes and thirteen seconds. The track, released as a single on Valentine’s Day, delves deep into Del Rey’s head and history, with the powerful hook “It’s not about havin’ someone love me anymore/No, this is the experience of bein’ an American whore.”
At the halfway breakdown of the song, the iconic “Jimmy, Jimmy, cocoa puff” will definitely grab your attention. It is believed among fans to call back to the character “Jimmy,” or “J,” whom Del Rey has allegedly alluded to in her work previously, most notably on her album “Ultraviolence.”
Another track on the album, “Judah Smith Interlude,” features a recorded monologue of celebrity megachurch pastor Judah Smith. Known for his controversial views on reproductive rights and the LGBTQ+ community, many fans have questioned the inclusion. Del Rey has never been an outspoken star. Keeping mostly quiet on big-ticket issues, fans might not be getting an explanation any time soon.
But when it comes to poetic lyrics, a graceful singing voice and steady release of new music, Lana Del Rey never misses.
I would rate “Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd” an 8 out of 10.
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