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Lana Del Rey's New Album: a Personal Peek of the Singer We Thought We Knew

pop culture

Sat, May 06

A month ago, Lana Del Rey released her ninth studio album Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd. After many listenings, I was able to not only pick my favourite songs but also understand their meaning. Her new work seems even more personal than her previous works.

It is a mix of deep biographical lyrics with dreamy, but sometimes rough, instrumentals. What makes Lana’s latest album so special?

Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd

The long-anticipated album was announced on December 7, 2022. On the same day, she published the lead single Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd from the album of the same album. The melancholic piano ballad was inspired by the closed tunnel in Long Beach, California.

Lana Del Rey compares her soul to the passage that once was beautiful but then was sealed and abandoned by publicity. In the chorus, she repeats the lyrics of Harry Nilsson’s track Don’t forget me to make sure that memory of her will be preserved.

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Later, on Valentine's Day, the second single called A&W was released. The title refers to the root beer brand and its initialism for American Wh*re. The song is very different from Lana’s recent album- Blue Banisters, because it splits into two parts.

First, a slow one, where the singer discusses her hard relationship with her mother and her body image. Then it turns into a trap bop with samples of the 2019 song Norman F*cking Rockwell and lyrics from the R&B track Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko-Ko-Bop.

The Grants

The last single, The Grants, aired first on March 14 on BBC 1 Radio’s Hottest Record, is a perfect opener for the album. It starts with gospel performed by Melodye Perry, Pattie Howard, and Shikena Jones. Then, Lana, accompanied by a piano, sings about the importance of love and her family- the Grants. She also shares her thoughts on religion and the afterlife, which can be preserved by memories.

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Finally, on March 24, 2023, the Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd album was shared with the public. It lasts one hour and seventeen minutes, which makes it the longest Lana Del Rey’s album. It contains sixteen songs, two interludes, six featured artists, like Jon Batiste, Bleachers, RIOPY or SYML, and countless amounts of samples (even of the previous Lana's song- Venice B*tch).

If you haven't heard the album yet, I recommend listening to it all in one go. It is the only right way to fully experience the magic of Lana’s new album. "Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd" is a musical journey through the emotions and memories of the artist. The first part of the album is slower and more acoustic, and the second part is more energetic, especially the tracks like Peppers (feat. Tommy Genesis), Fishtail and Taco Truck x VB.

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What also makes this album so special are the lyrics that could easily be poems. Lana Del Rey is a master of mixing deep and meaningful lines with more contemporary ones, like “Pass me my vape, I'm feeling sick, I need to take a puff” from the previously mentioned song Taco Truck x VB. My favourite songs in terms of lyrics from this album are Fingertips, which is about Lana’s experience with death, sadness and suicide, and Let The Light In (feat. Father John Misty), about changing your perspective and becoming happier.

It is hard to describe the music only with words, but if I had to choose one word to narrate the climate of Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd I would say it's magical and I encourage you to give it a try if you haven't listened to it yet. If you have, I am very curious about your opinion. What is your favourite song?

Or maybe what is your favourite Lana’s album? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Nessy Kochańczyk
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Writer since Sep, 2022 · 9 published articles

My name is Agnieszka (Nessy) and I'm a high school student in Poland. I love all kinds of art especially music and fashion. I like writing because it is a great way to share my thoughts and insights