Saturday, April 09, 2016
round-up of Lana Del Rey think pieces.) This is how we get to an album titled Ultraviolence, and songs (often very good songs) titled "Cruel World," "Sad Girl," "Pretty When You Cry," and "Fucked My Way to the Top" (for the sake of Walmart and other delicate flowers, spelled "****** My Way to the Top" on the back cover). Perhaps the worst title is perhaps my favorite song: "Shades of Cool," which is an aching bruise about what else alienation meditation concentration. "I can't break through your world / 'Cause you live in shades of cool." Her gorgeous breathy stretch for the notes on "But you are invincible" and a guitar solo from producer Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys further clarify the sledgehammer points. In the next song she is found going on about "while I sing Lou Reed" and a boyfriend who puts her down. It's signifiers, heat, and flash, never really saying anything yet somehow alighting on random moments in which she seems to be saying everything. I want to call her a poet, but it's not exactly words, or anyway lyrics, where she most effectively expends her poet powers. She plays the sullen love doll for a joke, I swear, but then there's the song "Money Power Glory" (all of which she wants obv, though not necessarily in that order), with its word choice of "glory," which is so specific, deliberate, and apt. In these moments the songs on this album move with a will of their own. Sometimes even the wince-worthy "Sad Girl" is the one that can matter more than anything. Hard to stop listening to this and the albums on either side (Born to Die and Honeymoon) actually a fair amount.