Single Review – Lana Del Rey – Love

Lana Del Rey has released her first material in sixteen months with her new single ‘Love’. Her impending and as yet untitled fifth album is expected to be announced soon. Ultraviolence had flashes of inspiration, but for the most part it stuck with the cinematic themes that were the mainstay of her last album Honeymoon. Though both albums were expertly executed, another similar effort would be wearing it a little thin. With ‘Love’ Lana certainly maintains a cinematic aesthetic, but with a hint at an expansive and atmospheric sound. The echoed drums and lightly drawn out production meets with Lana’s wistful, quivering vocals. There’s scope for a natural development to her sound, but also scope to repeat what she’s already done with this track. We’ll have to wait and see how the album falls into place later in the year.

Owen Riddle 

Lana Del Rey – Honeymoon Review

It’s been just over a year since New York’s Lana Del Rey released Ultraviolence; an album much more expansive and sophisticated than Born To Die and now with Honeymoon Lana will be aiming to build on the themes set in her last album with which she was taken a little more seriously as an artist in producing what was an improvement on her 2012 effort. What her previous albums have lacked is versatility amongst the album tracks and at times some ill-fitting vocals. Here she has to be careful to not just repeat the improvements made with her last album along with maintaining a strong vocal performance throughout and look to diversifying the content of the album whilst keeping to her chosen theme. She’s shown she’s a decent artist but is she anything more?

The title track suggests that she might be.  It’s a track reminiscent of the dark and theatrical sounds of her previous album with sleek string sections and lapping guitar riffs that go on to develop with military-style snare drums in toe. Lana’s vocal stays low in range and remains smooth and allows her vocal to soar and fall effortlessly to encapsulate a ghostly and soothing love song. It’s a track that maintains the retrospective, classy aesthetic she appears to be pursing, but it is simply a graceful and gently powerful track. Beyond the high sophistication and grace of the title track’s aesthetic and style, we find ‘High By The Beach’. This track is kept of a fragile edge by a light whirring organ and then a drum sample signals the a hazy and quietly atmospheric track which raises it’s soft reverberating production when it is gradually levitating it’s sound in a melodic and wistful fashion. It’s a cool and modern take on the retrospective style of the title track and again her vocals remain strong despite the more flexible nature of the delivery required.  ‘Terrence Loves You’ sees her revert back to the swooning ballads of the title track. In what is a familiar and simple song structure she is able to make it her own through her quivering melodies and through subtle echo and distorting techniques that make her melodies all the more haunting and intriguing against a structural backdrop that should promote a relaxing feel. It’s a much more organic atmospheric track as opposed to the boldness of ‘High By The Beach’ but it’s grace and audible beauty is very much appreciated.

‘Music To Watch Boys To’ sticks to the more engaging string-laden pop ballads with lustrous vocals combining with the rising strings with a secondary vocal that is delivered in a more ringing and distorted fashion. It strikes an in between middling the pure and graceful title track and the more modern trip hop of ‘High By The Beach’. A song that epitomises the sound of the album. ‘Art Deco’ also operates in the middle ground of the two overriding sounds featured on the album, but in this case the instrumentation and vocals are faded out to generate a more washed out piece of Dream Pop which this song becomes whilst keeping it’s Trip-hop beats. An combination that works and is used with ‘Freak in a powerful and potent way. ‘Blackest Day’ and Religion’ are a little too similar to other tracks in a way that wasn’t really needed again. ‘Salvatore’ is a ballad that plays upon Lana’s vocal highs brilliantly and combines a classical style with softened trap drops and whirring synths. It’s another odd combination that works well in isolation and with the theme of her album. ’24’ is done in a similar way and in a cinematic Spanish sound, but is perhaps a little too disjointed for it to work as well. Honeymoon is an undeniable improved effort and as an album it is so much more smoother with a greater grasp of variety and the emphasis on a strong vocal to make it work. It is done here brilliantly and is probably her best album to date. The only problem is that it is perhaps a little too long at fourteen tracks which means you hear the same method of track a little too often, making it easy to spot the album fillers, but even those tracks in isolation are well delivered and produced. She’s moved  beyond what can be perceived as a decent artist with this album.

Lana Del Rey – Honeymoon = 8/10

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Single Review – Lana Del Rey – Music To Watch Boys To

With Honeymoon releasing on Friday the 18th Lana Del Rey releases a fourth single from the album and ‘Music To Watch Boys To’ is a return to the more engaging string-laden pop ballads with lustrous vocals combining with the rising strings with a secondary vocal that is delivered in a more ringing and distorted fashion. It strikes an in between middling the pure and graceful title track and the more modern trip hop of ‘High By The Beach’. It will be an album of great interest in seeing whether she’s delivered consistently.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Single Review – Lana Del Rey – Terrence Loves You

Lana Del Rey releases her third single from her September 18th album Honeymoon with ‘Terrence Loves You’ which sees her revert back to the swooning ballads of the title track. In what is a familiar and simple song structure she is able to make it her own through her quivering melodies and through subtle echo and distorting techniques that make her melodies all the more haunting and intriguing against a structural backdrop that should promote a relaxing feel. It’s a much more organic atmospheric track as opposed to the boldness of ‘High By The Beach’ but it’s grace and audible beauty is very much appreciated.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Single Review – Lana Del Rey – High By The Beach

With her upcoming fourth album Honeymoon an impending release, Lana Del Rey has released a second track from the LP in ‘High By The Beach’. Beyond the high sophistication and grace of the title track’s aesthetic and style, this track is kept of a fragile edge by a light whirring organ and then a drum sample signals the a hazy and quietly atmospheric track which raises it’s soft reverberating production when it isn’t gradually levitating it’s sound in a melodic and wistful fashion. It’s a cool and modern take on the retrospective style of the title track.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Single Review – Lana Del Rey – Honeymoon

Only a year since her second album Ultraviolence and Lana Del Rey is back with the title track of upcoming third album Honeymoon which is due in September. It’s a track reminiscent of the dark and theatrical sounds of her previous album with sleek string sections and lapping guitar picks that go on to develop with military-style snare drums. Lana’s vocal stays low in range and remains smooth and allows her vocal to soar and fall effortlessly to encapsulate a ghostly and soothing love song.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Single Review – Thomas Cohen – Honeymoon

For those who want to know about Peaches Geldof I’d just like to inform you that you’re in the wrong place. I’m not running a gossip magazine filled with fake and bizarre stories. This is a music blog. I’m going to talk about Thomas Cohen who after announcing S.C.U.M’s split after a hiatus earlier this year; has now announced details of his first solo material with the track ‘Honeymoons’. It sort of takes on the form of a late 80’s ballad that has been slowed down and had its sound stretched out and expanded. The simple riffs drift away as does his vocal which still maintains it’s sort of high toned yet slightly gravely quality. The six minute song flows excellently between verse, chorus, instrumental and back due to the dragged out yet lingering sound created by the extensive echo of each element. The bass line ties down the song a bit or just gives it a type of concealed rhythm and groove that brings together the wondering sounds. If we compare it to Astral Pattern then I’d say its a relative stalemate. Though I did enjoy Astral Pattern’s ‘Faraway’ more due to how they achieved an expanded and growing sound but managed to maintain an obvious focus to it with the use of synths plugging the melody. But having said that, Thomas achieves what he sets out to do with ease and his solo work will probably just go on improving.

https://soundcloud.com/thomascohen/honeymoon/s-dYKLM

Image from hangout.altsounds.com