“Summertime Sadness” is a poor representation of Lana Del Rey. I never listened to her other songs, so all I knew of her was that song that made the Billboard Hot 100 from 2012. But when I gave her newest album Honeymoon a shot, I discovered the true Lana Del Rey: an artist with a passion for love, a cinematically orchestral voice, and a bittersweet taste for romance.
Speaking of love, the glittering title track and one of the promotional singles, “Honeymoon,” is heavily metaphorical and Rey serenades slowly and romantically. From the first song on the album, you immediately enter into a world of truly tortured romance, with lyrics like “There are violets in your eyes / There are guns that blaze around you.” While Rey speaks lovingly of her companion, she also describes his dark history, conveying the confusing passion Rey can’t help but sing about.
Rey goes further into pop in “High by the Beach.” The super catchy hit begins with the classic Rey hum and a morose feeling, but when the chorus hits, so does the trap-influenced beat. There is a great balance between mysterious and robotic, combined with a flirtatious romance, making Rey’s lovely, dark sound incomparable to Taylor Swift’s love songs. Sounding similar to the upbeat song “Freak,” where Lana sings, “So let’s dance in slow motion / Tear it up / Tear it up / Let’s dance in the ocean.” She is energetic in this song, and she uses carnival themed sounds in the background, which add to the freakiness that makes you feel like you are in an old funhouse from the 1950’s.
This mid-1900’s old Hollywood feel runs throughout the album. Rey takes the setting of an old Italian town in “Salvatore,” where the beginning is instrumental and dreamy. She uses phrases like “cacciatore” and “ciao amore,” and the strings of a guitar sound like traditional Italy, while Rey’s singing style is similar to that of Frank Sinatra’s in the 1950’s. Once again, Rey flawlessly balances and blends two unique styles.
Though Rey introduces almost all of her songs with the same slow and dreamy hum, I can assure you that when the chorus hits, you can never expect what’s coming: a beat drop, a dramatic orchestral sound, or dark lyrics about a haunted romance. Honeymoon is classic Lana Del Rey, and because of the various genres that the album encompasses, old and new fans will be immediately attracted to her newest album.