Lana Del Rey wastes no time when it comes to releasing new music. Since her 2012 debut, Born To Die, Lana has now released four studio albums in just four years (including Born To Die: The Paradise Edition), a consistency that is rare for today’s pop artists. While Lana instantly gained a cult following after her debut LP, she most recently won over critics last year with Ultraviolence, widely accepted as her best album up until that point. While artists frequently fall victim to the sophomore album curse and slumps throughout their career where they simply run out of fresh ideas for songs, fans were anxious to see if Lana could follow up her critical success from Ultraviolence, just a year later with Honeymoon. Although the Honeymoon may not be quite as beautiful as the wedding that it follows (Ultraviolence), Lana’s new album again proves that she is continuing to grow as an artist, all while delivering her unique sound and consistently great records.
Opening up with the title track ‘Honeymoon’, the record sets the tone of the rest of the album to come. The beautiful strings that have so often complement Lana’s soothing voice throughout the past half-decade, kick off the track and the album.
“We both know that it’s not fashionable to love me.” – ‘Honeymoon’
If you couldn’t guess by its title, Honeymoon is an album about love, a theme from Lana that should not surprise anyone. And while Lana is not the first female artist to sing about love, her views on the topic are often critiqued by many. Again with Honeymoon, Lana takes an almost docile and submissive approach of love and serving her man, that no feminist would co-sign. So if you love the Taylor Swift, empowering voice for women everywhere, point-of-view (which is especially ironic since Taylor’s latest sing, ‘Wildest Dreams’ is a rip-off of Lana’s sound) then this album maybe isn’t for you.
Lana’s stance on love need not dictate whether or not you enjoy this album though. The woman serving her man nature of Lana, which has been present ever since her debut single ‘Video Games’, isn’t for everyone and can even make me uncomfortable, but her voice, melodies, and choice of instrumentals to complement the above all blends together so well. Some artists have voices ahead of their time, while Lana Del Rey has a voice well before her time, and it isn’t a bad thing. Lana’s voice sounds like it was taken straight out of the mid-20th century, but with the benefit of today’s talented producers and hip-hop influences.
No particular records widely stand out ahead of the others, as opposed to some of her previous albums, but you need to look beyond the album’s singles. ‘High By The Beach’, the first single from the LP, is an anthem for the closet stoners of the world who don’t fit the druggie profile that even a straight-edge can mellow out to, but Honeymoon‘s records like ‘Freak’ and ‘The Blackest Day’ (which so far have had no single promotion) could likely be your favorites. Or even the album’s closing track, ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’, which samples the 1964 jazz record by Nina Simone (and made big though The Animal’s cover in ’65), may end up being your personal favorite. Unless one of the tracks gets picked up for a club mix from a big DJ, as her record ‘Summertime Sadness’ did almost a year after its release, you shouldn’t expect any of Honeymoon to get huge on the radio. But at the same time, while you don’t get a commercially successful lead single, you have a top-to-bottom quality full-length project, which is much better.
Is this Lana’s best album to date? Maybe, as its already my favorite to top Ultraviolence. It probably depends who you ask, and how much life and replay value that Honeymoon will prove to have. Even it it comes second to her last album, Honeymoon is a good album for any music fan and a great album for any Lana Del Rey fan. Her songs don’t seem repetitive and stale, however Lana has not abandoned her sound and style that has got her to this point and to her fourth album. She may not pick up many new fans with the LP, but Lana is continuing to keep her fans and critics happy as Honeymoon is another masterpiece from Lana Del Rey.