Alternative’s melancholic princess has released yet another critically acclaimed, haunting album to complete her trilogy.
Lana Del Rey’s newest album “Honeymoon” isn’t just the soundtrack you shop to at Urban Outfitters. It showcases a stronger emphasis on lyrics, which nods to Del Rey’s growth as an artist.
She made her debut with the album, “Born to Die,” which was revolutionary for its time. Alternative music had been creating more ethereal sounding music, but nothing as widely popular as Del Rey’s “Born to Die.”
Her second album, “Ultraviolence” was darker than “Born to Die” and had more undertones of hip hop. This album was also released the single, “Young and Beautiful” which was featured in the remake of the film “The Great Gatsby.”
Since, Lana Del Rey’s music has branched beyond the sphere of alternative music and into the popular music sphere with hits like“Summer Time Sadness.”
The most talked about track on Honeymoon is “High By The Beach.” It contrasts with the other more floaty sounding tracks on the album and has a much more punchy message.
The song details Del Rey’s grievances with an unresponsive lover. “The truth is I never bought into your bullsh*t/ When you would pay tribute to me/ ‘Cause I know that/All I wanted to do was get high by the beach/ Get high baby, baby, bye bye.”
This is a harder side of Del Rey than listeners have seen in her previous songs. It shows a more stark reality, a more consequential attitude as opposed to “Young and Beautiful” which is dripping with desperation and insecurity.
The song “Freak” also stands out as one of the album’s strongest songs. They lyrics nod more to Del Rey’s confidence which is woven through the entire album in lyricssuch as, “Baby, if you wanna leave/ Come to California/ Be a freak like me, too/Screw your anonymity/ Loving me is all you need to feel/ Like I do.”
This song has Del Rey’s signature sultry sound that we expect from her. The consistency is pleasing to see, however it could have been beneficial to her as an artist to break outside of her predictable box.
Her last two albums made her mark as an alternative artist that wasn’t going anywhere, as she proved she is an artist that goes against the grain.
When Del Rey came on the music scene, she was a breath of fresh air. Her sound was emotional, and it was a great introduction for many into the world of alternative music. In other words, she was a gateway artist.
Now that she has established herself as a creator, Del Rey needs to establish herself as an innovator if she wants to remain relevant and elevate her career to the next level. Unfortunately, “Honeymoon” stays too closely to her signature style and does not bring enough newness to the table.
The floaty, sleepy, emotional sounds on this album were very predictable and didn’t do Del Rey any favors in gaining new attention.
What would have been more beneficial to Del Rey’s career would have been to do something actually alternative.
Since her music has become mainstream and even bridged over to pop, she needed to do something more shocking to maintain her reign as alternative music’s golden child.
“Honeymoon” isn’t going to hurt Del Rey as an artist by any means, but it sure isn’t going to help her.