Lana Del Rey first hit the stage as Lizzy Grant and soon enough blossomed into the exceptional performer that we all know her as today. She’s come a long way since her Lizzy Grant days and her old-school sound has been growing along with her and ‘Ultraviolence’ marks the point in her career where she has fully transformed into her Lana Del Rey persona.
‘Ultraviolence’ is an exceptional example of Lana Del Rey’s distinct style and each track showcases her unique voice. The album possesses the same style as ‘Born To Die’, but ‘Ultraviolence’ is darker and more melancholic than the latter. Letting us into her wild world and talking about lost hope, heartbreak and an abusive relationship, ‘Ultraviolence’ manages to showcase a more complex and complicated side of Lana.
Dark, haunting, melancholic, and dysfunctional. These are all words that fittingly describe Lana’s latest masterpiece. The entire record is like a diary and we the listeners are able to not only sneak a peek into that diary, but are able to read every single page of it. ‘Ultraviolence’ allows us to understand the New York native a little bit more.
The sophomore album experiments with strings on a broader level by incorporating a variety of string instruments, resulting in beautifully produced tracks like “Ultraviolence”, “Sad Girl” and “The Other Woman”. Then we have tracks like the James Bond-esque “Shades Of Cool” and the low-tempo, woozy track “West Coast” where she seems to have perfected her angelic soprano like vocals. “Cruel World” possesses similarities to Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” and goes knee-deep into that bluesy slow-tempo sound. Whereas “Pretty When You Cry” showcases a vulnerable Lana, where her voice sounds fragile and in pain. “Old Money” opens with the songstress listing off random objects, but eventually leads into her talking about what seems to be a lover that is no longer with her. “Money Power Glory” seems to be the anthem for a power-hungry individual, whereas the bitter “Fucked My Way Up To The Top” calls out a singer who is copying Lana’s style. Hmmm wonder who this could be…? For those of you looking for a happier tune, do not fear, that’s what “Brooklyn Baby” is for. Although, the track still has the same slow-tempo style as the rest of the tracks on the record, its substance is more light-hearted than the rest.
Overall, ‘Ultraviolence’ is riveting and not recommended if you’re looking for an easy listen where all the songs are sugarcoated pop songs. No, this is far from that. ‘Ultraviolence’ is raw, haunting and hazy.