Lana Del Rey


Lana Del Rey is frequently portrayed as detached despite being one of pop’s most effortful singers. Notes are drawn out, and her phrasing is full of theatrical pacing and finesse that mirror her tendency to tease metaphysical questions from love-life observations.

It’s nice to listen to someone who enjoys singing as much as she does, especially on the kind of ambivalent, lonely ballads (Music To Watch Boys To, High By The Beach and God Knows I Tried) at which she excels. Also enjoyable is her affinity for retro orchestral drama, but whereas her last album had a gently psychedelic and live-off-the-floor feel, Honeymoon plays it safer with “cinematic” arrangements occasionally pumped up (but not excessively so) with modern drum sounds.

The centrepiece, Burnt Norton, is a cosmic snippet from a T.S. Eliot poem about God and salvation that arrives just as the album’s concepts start to grow ponderous (“When I’m down on my knees / you’re how I pray,” she sings on Religion), and things eventually culminate in the most inevitable of cover song choices: Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.

Top track: Music To Watch Boys To

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