Lana Del Rey’s fourth album “Honeymoon” is hauntingly gorgeous
BY JUSTIN HOGUE
On Sept. 18, Lana Del Rey released her fourth studio album “Honeymoon” from UMG Recordings. Like a mistress of seduction, Lana Del Rey’s new album “Honeymoon” captures the attention and entices the mind down a shadowed street of musical noir. Her individual style and enchanting sound has garnered her a dedicated following. Freed from the chains of the conventional artist, she does not need to craft a sound that is radio-friendly because that is not what her listeners want. Her listeners want to get lost in a world of sultry sound and visceral images—and ultimately dive deeper into the intricacy that is Lana Del Rey.
“Honeymoon” takes a page from her first album “Born to Die” and its continuation “Paradise.” This one, however, incorporates stronger elements of old Hollywood grandeur throughout. The album is laden with sweeping orchestra arrangements and seamlessly combines instruments, such as the piano and saxophone, which work to give certain songs a jazzy feel.
“Honeymoon,” in comparison to her previous albums, can be summed up in one word: simple. There are no overtly produced arrangements, and the lyrics are minimal. This is a stripped down Lana Del Rey, and the effect is mesmerizing. There is a unique beauty in the simplicity that brings forth a directness that is both gentle and powerful. In the song “Freak,” she chants behind a series of titillating drum beats, “Baby, if you wanna leave / Come to California / Be a freak like me, too.”
Lana Del Rey is not afraid to let listeners into her fantasies. In “Salvatore,” a song with an old world Italian reverie about it, she fantasizes about a savior and soft ice cream. “Honeymoon” is grand and wonderfully cinematic, but she knows it is just fantasy, as she coos at the end of the song “Dreaming away your life.”
Lana Del Rey gives us a view into her world in a way she has never done before. She is more vulnerable and does not care that it shows. In “Blackest Day” her voice drips with angst as she croons, “Give me all, got my blue nail polish on / It’s my favorite color and my favorite tone of song / I don’t really wanna break up, we got it going on.” The sense of solitude she feels is beautifully contrasted with “Religion” where she sings about receiving a love so strong there are no more worries. She completes the album with her entrancing version of Nina Simone’s “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.”
This is a new phase of Lana Del Rey, and some may misunderstand that. Nevertheless, Lana Del Rey has created a strangely hypnotic sound that strengthens its hold on the mind with every listen. “Honeymoon” is an album that would easily make any playlist more complete.