ULTRAVIOLENCE: Honouring True Love

Lana del Rey seems to have switched to the dark side. Even though it took her a while to get to where she is today – over a few years switching personas, from May Jailer to Lizzie Grant to Sparkle Jump Rope Queen to Lana del Ray and then, finally, to the notorious Lana del Rey – it is clear that the self-entitled sad girls’ last album is her best work yet. The Paradise Edition of her first album, Born to Die (which had obvious hip-hop influences), has apparently been a transition to the slower-tempo, darker and profoundly poetic Ultraviolence.

The mysterious singer seems to have centred her new album solely on the feeling of being deeply in love with the equally mysterious – but, as is always the case, endlessly fascinating – Jim (whom hardcore LDR fans have encountered throughout her whole discography). The instrumentals as well as the lyrics on Ultraviolence all seem to suggest the idea of being in a destructive relationship but completely in love at the same time – something that the controversial line “He hit me and it felt like a kiss” (actually a song from the ‘60s) seems to very expressively convey.

As is almost always the case with art that does not stick to pre-established cliché themes and, heaven forbid, actually puts forward a piece of work that brings something new and refreshing to the audiences, people got offended (as would be expected, primarily feminists/feminazis as they are more recently called). However, let’s not forget that this is indeed art that is in question – and art doesn’t need to be pretty or politically correct.

If one would listen to the album with an open mind and leave domestic violence and how women should be empowered aside, the story of Lana Del Rey – more specifically the dazed and confused girl called DN, “that stood for deadly nightshade” – and Jim’s love is utterly beautiful, poetic and, to some extent, heart breaking. What the singer accomplishes in this album is more than just throw a few tracks together and hope she gets to Billboard No. 1. Lana del Rey manages to tell a story, create a mood and grip the listener in a way that makes her work almost feel like a concept album.

All in all, Lana del Rey seems to be what audiences nostalgic of the ‘60s and ‘70s have been waiting for – her soft and soothing yet staggering vocals, the guitar solos and general instrumentals, her meaningful lyrics and the overall mood she transmits are reminiscent of the golden decades of music. But more than anything, Ultraviolence is just a beautiful piece of music which should be appreciated for what it is – an homage brought to true romance.

“I have a personal ambition to live my life honestly and honour the true love that I've had and also the people I've had around me.”

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