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On ‘Ocean Boulevard,’ Lana Del Rey Proves That She Will Never Be Forgotten

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pitt chapter.

On her ninth studio album, loquaciously titled Did You Know that There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Boulevard, Lana Del Rey is more experimental than ever with her expansive list of collaborators and stream of consciousness songwriting. As a genre-defining artist, Del Rey has big shoes to fill with every one of her new releases. Fans of Del Rey’s Norman F****** Rockwell! and Blue Bannisters will love the predominately piano-laden instrumentation and stark lyrics of Ocean Boulevard. Del Rey has once again teamed up with indie pop wizard/producer Jack Antonoff to execute the 16 beautiful songs. He features on “Margaret,” a love song that Del Rey co-wrote with him for Antonoff’s fiancée (actress Margaret Qualley). (Being Lana Del Rey’s friend must be amazing.)

Tonally, Ocean Boulevard is dark yet heartwarming. The title track details Del Rey’s anxieties at this point in her decade of stardom, wondering how much longer she has with it (“When’s it gonna be my turn?/… don’t forget me, like the tunnel under Ocean Boulevard.”) She finishes the record with “Taco Truck x VB,” a mashup of her 2019 song “Venice B****” with another, newer song about carefree love at the end of summer. Songs like “The Grants” and “Fingertips” see Del Rey pay tribute to her family, newborn and old, living and dead. Amongst a myriad of emotionally-charged lyrics on “A & W”, it feels like a flashback to her debut Born to Die to hear Del Rey brattily chant, “You’re mom called, I told her/You’re f****** up big time.”

Altogether, Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Boulevard is a wonderful album to recommend for anyone who wants to get familiar with Del Rey’s music. Her vocals and lyricism are more mellifluous and heartfelt than ever, showing just how much Del Rey has grown since her days of being a new icon for Gen Z Tumblr girls. Del Rey is not just a celebrated indie singer at this point – I think her discography is a contender for a new Great American Songbook.

Classics nerd, hardcore feminist, music lover.