Did you know? Del Rey’s new album drops

Did you know? Del Reys new album drops

Max Beitzel, asst. features editor

Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd is the newest album by singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey, released on March 24. The album is a mixed bag of some amazing songs, confusing stylistic choices, and more than a handful of bad tracks. 

One of the opening tracks, “Sweet” highlights Del Rey’s incredibly beautiful voice. The lyricism in “Sweet” paints a picture of the difficulty involved with her relationships as well as the pain that she holds from the loss of her former lover. The way she sings in this song in particular is expertly done as she pours everything into the track, making this piano ballad a highlight of the album. 

The following track, “A&W”, is a two-part, seven-minute masterpiece that is my favorite song from the album. The first half of the song highlights the self-destructive choices Del Rey makes in her love life. In the second half of the song, Del Rey finds herself falling into the same loveless relationships, but this time, she seems more content about that fact. Her acceptance of this fact is reflected in the tone of her voice and upbeat instrumental. “A&W”, although long song, keeps the audience engaged throughout.

Following this incredible four-track run, the album begins to take a turn for the worse. The album’s next 10 minutes consists of two interludes and a forgettable song in between. One of the interludes includes an sample of a sermon from Judah Smith, a pastor widely criticized for his homophobic remarks. I felt as if the inclusion of the interlude, although not homophobic on the album, was a very odd choice, as it did not add anything to the listening experience. 

Following the interludes and several mediocre songs is “Fingertips”. This track includes some of the most heartbreaking lyrics by Del Rey, but is almost intolerable because of the very noticeable flaws in its production. There is an unbearably loud static noise which takes away from the beauty of her voice. This overwhelming static is also very apparent on the following song “Paris, Texas”. 

“Grandfather please stand on the shoulders of my father while he’s deep-sea fishing” is a breath of fresh air following the static in the previous songs. “Let The Light In”, featuring Father John Misty, thankfully a fellow artist and not another pastor, is an example of how talented Del Rey is. Misty and Del Rey float over the soft guitar and have great chemistry. 

Following these songs, the album has another nosedive in quality with the trap-inspired final songs “Fishtail” and “Peppers”. Although Del Rey has worked with trap artists, such as A$AP Rocky and Playboi Carti, I don’t think her voice works well with these types of instrumentals. 

Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd has some of the best songs from Del Rey mixed with some of her worst. The range of quality in the songs on this album is baffling, and I feel that the length of the album only drags out this fact. The album as a whole feels very lackluster, but some exceptional songs really do stand out. I don’t think I will find myself revisiting the album as a whole, but instead, I will return to the tracks that I loved, over and over again.