After her successful “Endless Summer” tour sparked by her third studio album “Ultraviolence,” the fairly recent trip hop artist Lana Del Rey hit the recording studio a fourth time to release her newest contribution to this surprisingly popular psychedelic pop genre. “Honeymoon” was released Sept. 18, 2015 among other albums by the Front Bottoms and Mac Miller.
I had a bad first impression going into the album because of the single “Honeymoon.” It just seemed too depressingly nostalgic and slow. I needed more beat. I know some of you could just listen to Lana read a few selections from a dictionary, but I, a less die-hard fan, need something to bob my head to. Then I came upon “High By the Beach” and loved it. It’s slightly less upbeat than I hoped, but it’s Lana, and I honestly didn’t expect anything more than what I got.
Like every good album, “Honeymoon” has its highs and lows; however, the quality never wavers. The album starts off with the self-titled song in which her ethereal voice is slowly introduced playing over a soft orchestra. The beginning of the album has a very “trippy California hipster” vibe. Lana references pink flamingos in “Music To Watch Boys To,” and David Bowie’s famous lyrics in “Space Oddity.” These allusions all add to the previously described vibe. Then the album hits one of its highest points in the “High By the Beach” where the drum machine makes a highly anticipated guest appearance. After this song, the drums stay and the rest of the album is head-bobbing material. “Freak” and “Art Deco” are less upbeat than “High By the Beach,” but they’re fast enough to keep the listener awake.
She flipped the switch and tried something new with “Burnt Norton.” I’d never heard spoken word as a track on any album by any artist. So I was shocked when she read a poem for the eighth track on “Honeymoon.” She reads T.S. Eliot’s modernist poem “Burnt Norton,” but I’m not really sure of the significance of it. However, the lines she shares about time and eternity really fit in with the mood of the melancholy album. “Salvatore” and “The Blackest Day” both describe the desperation of both unrequited and undesired love by showing off her amazing vocal range. In “24”, this young artist tests the limits of her range and impresses the audience with a voice crack near the end, which was perfectly suited for the moment. For the last song on the album, Lana gets rid of the drums again and slows it down in “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” It is a slightly abrupt ending, but it leaves the listener wanting more and almost hints at a theme for her next album.
So the overview: All the songs on “Honeymoon” are good except “Honeymoon” itself. It’s captivating, but it takes effort to see its worth. The album should have been named something else like “Don’t Worry It Gets Better After the First One.” But now that I have been engaged in the album in its entirety, it’s incredibly soothing and I crave it when I’m not listening. Congratulations to Lana for releasing yet another incredible album which is sure to be a hit among her fans and will definitely help her gain more. Hopefully we’ll see her performing the new songs in Atlanta soon.