Lana Del Rey Honeymoon Review
In being asked to write this, I have to be honest, my first thought and my written reaction was "I'm not a huge Lana Del Rey fan."
But honestly (again) I have to say, that in writing this, in having to check out her latest video and musical offerings, I still wouldn’t include Del Rey in my all time, top 10 Pop artists but that's kind of besides the point. Hey, she’s hot right? And hotness covers a multitude of musical sins, right?
Hotness always wins, just like Katniss always kicks ass, right?
The video for “High by the Beach” is without doubt, one of the most bizarre love-conflagration videos ever recorded. In some surreal nightmare where the nightly news coverage of Blackhawks and RPG’s meet up with an empty (physically and emotionally) Malibu beach house there exists a video for Del Rey’s newest PLC (post-love crooning.) She’s done a 360 from her previous romantic ideals; ideals of Golden Age Hollywood’s iconic and hallowed sound stages of Love. Embracing a new, digital-tech age, it’s bleeding into her music. In the words of another classic album (with a wedding Cake on it, which seems strangely perfect for our embattled age) -an album by the Stones, she seems to be saying Let it Bleed.
Honestly, I can’t figure out how it took three people to write this pop ditty about a crappy relationship gone down a three million dollar toilet but I guess that’s all part of the overblown, epic proportions our culture is giving to erotic love...and revenge fantasies when that love goes south (or down the toilet.) Looking like a home video on a million dollar budget, this Blair Witch-esque-apade centers on a woman’s quest to bury her pain in the titular Getting high at the beach.
In fact, the only thing she succeeds in burying is a guitar case with a bizarre weapon in it; in a better world, this would be Straight Outta Compton, but Del Rey’s version is straight outta Barbarella. Well heck, I give her high marks for honesty. But, really? How far we’ve come- from 60’s Woodstock idealism and innocent honesty. Joe Cockers “I get high...with a little help from my friends” has become “I get high...AND I blow you out of the sky, ‘cause you SUCK and you should die. ” Better lyrics? Thank you!
Yes, it’s not just bad but really bad. In fact, so bad that our heroine or anti-heroine (take your pick) is forced to, yes, hide an Sci-Fi RPG in an acoustic guitar case, tote it up from it’s hiding-place on the beach below her for-sale, Malibu beach house, run up to the deck and blow her ex outta the sky. Uhh, can anybody say angry? Other reviews I’ve read tried to excuse this soggy musical seaweed by chalking it all up to streaming technology and a throw away consumerist culture. To paraphrase, I read things like:
If a “Friends with benefits” relationship -- with Pop Music, were possible, today would be the day that just such a thing could happen...has already happened...or is happening.”
Everyone wants to "test drive" the Love Bug before they buy it. (and heck, who wouldn't if Lilo is driving) but my ex's Gramma used to tell her, when she was growing up in Texas, “if they (boys) can get the milk for free, why would they buy the cow?”
This old school sentiment was indeed the ideal; but today’s shifting sands and rubber bands have produced-even in those who made careers espousing it, new lyrical inspiration and fresh musical journeys into that all consuming, all important topic of Amore.’
And while I can't subscribe to the bovine comparison, I get her (Gramma’s) point... as a guy.
Over and over I read how surprised someone was-, that Del Rey’s music had become so “different.” (No one dared use the words they really wanted to use.) Over and over, writers focused on technology and sales rather than on the point- the music.
Over and over, they pined:
In this, the You Tube streaming-music age, in which recordings seem to be little more than promo’s for live concerts, the music has become the milk. And why pay, why buy...if the musical milk is free? Back in the day, purchasing (also known as "buying") music was a big deal and might signal a commitment to an artist. We formed alliances with artists, with bands. We came, we saw, we paid (money.) Taylor would approve.
Buying our fav artists new record-on vinyl, slipped in an uber-hip cardboard extra-large "cover" was one of the things music fans looked forward to the most. Pulling off that plastic wrap, slipping that vinyl orb out of it's virginal packaging, was part of the love affair between fan and artist. Now, it’s just click, listen, throw away. Has this become our love language? The zeitgeist today might be all about seizing the day, Carpe' diem, about grabbing that stash with both hands and making some cash, if not just more consumerist trash.
This seems to be the tale of modern relationships gone bad:
1. I want you ‘cause you have money.
2. When you said you loved me it was all BS.
3. I now reject the BS ‘cause I have my own money.
(Hey, girls have their own money these days-who needs a man?)
4. You are a creep who is stalk-filming my passive- aggressivity and I’m going to blow you out of the sky.
(Wait- maybe he’s actually filming the video that is making you famous? Oh, no, not that!)
To sum it up, the video is worth watching once-if you’re a fan of angry songbirds turned sniper killahs with sci-fi weapons. The song is the song. Just another well produced, albeit foul mouthed, angry ode to a love gone bad. This aint the Blues...this is the reds, washed down with Girls with Guns fantasies To be fair, Del Rey has, no doubt, still got some amazing music in her. It’s possible the rest of the album, is awesome. It’s possible it will grow on me, on you. She’s got the goods and plenty of time left to pull some glory outta her booty. But on this particular track, this writer remains un-impressed.