Lana Del Rey has come a long way from her controversial debut performance on “Saturday Night Live.” For a singer-songwriter who was criticized and berated by the media, Rey has certainly become an adaptable mainstay in the industry. By far one of the most original, masterful artists in recent years, Del Rey has joined the ranks of some of the industry’s most recognizable and highly praised artists. From her pop-driven, self-titled album and the extension “Paradise,” to the drearily orchestra-led “Ultraviolence,” Del Rey has proven herself time and time again.
With the release of “Honeymoon,” Del Rey continues to skillfully master her craft. Lush and masterful, “Honeymoon” is like a painting with visuals that are physically absent. Del Rey is still able to successfully construct a world through the lyrical composition of each of the record’s 14 tracks. From it’s opening, Del Rey’s timeless vocals sound off like a well-oiled machine. With the placement of each song meticulously placed and planned out.
On the album’s second single, titled “Music To Watch My Boys To,” Del Rey’s voice bounces off of dark, spiraling beats in a way that is both danceable and mysterious. Echoing and desolate, there is a certain enticement about “Music To Watch My Boys To.” One of her greatest pieces to date, Del Rey’s dreary track is a surefire hit.
With “God Knows I Tried,” Del Rey portrays an end of the story, a climactic piece of forlorn love. Impressive and raw, this emotive track is a beautiful addition to “Honeymoon.” Like the end of a story, “God Knows I Tried” is a truly heartbreaking track.
“The Blackest Day” once again finds Del Rey at her best. With a sense of urgency, this song of love and loss is transcendent. Through upsetting matters, Del Rey’s beautiful voice glimmers. “The Blackest Day” is stupendously arranged and its composition should be recognized for its perfection. Other artists should take note because Del Rey’s prowess should not be underestimated.
As far as she has come from the mainstream, Del Rey uses “Art Deco” to border the more Top 40-driven beats of her past, while still maintaining a sense of individuality and prominence. Re-entering the realm that made her so successful, the track is an inflection of everything that has made her so recognizable. With electronic instrumentals in tow, Del Rey’s hollowed voice is alluring.
Through elegant aesthetics, tracks like “Salvatore” and “Religion” only add to Del Rey’s growing collection of artful workmanship. Scintillating and pleasing, both tracks find the perfect balance between hazy melodies and more light-hearted instrumentals. For “Salvatore,” Del Rey pulls in Italian influences to make a track that is both nostalgic and majestic. On “Religion,” Del Rey compares love of another with love of one’s beliefs to create a graceful and enjoyable track.
More than absent on “Ultraviolence,” and in many ways “Honeymoon,” are the swirling synth pop-tinged tracks that skyrocketed the “Young And Beautiful” singer into pop culture fame. However, this parting of ways is more like a spreading of wings rather than feeding in to the mainstream. For Del Rey, the willingness to delve deep into the spectacles of glittering old-Hollywood styled music is something that comes across as beautiful and accomplished. “Honeymoon” perfectly combines the mainstays of Del Rey’s early work and the classic dreariness of “Ultraviolence.”