On Friday, March 24th, stans from across the world stayed up for the release of Lana Del Rey’s ninth studio album, Do you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd. The longanticipated album is comprised of sixteen songs with the entire album spanning an hour and seventeen minutes. Since the release of the album’s single, “A&W,” fans have been waiting for Lana to give us more.
The record begins with the track “The Grants”, a third single released days ahead of the album’s release: this track brings a sort of gospel element that Lana continues to develop throughout the album, beginning with a trio of women singing melodically. In her lyrics, she mentions both heaven and her pastor, really setting the stage for religious themes throughout.
The next two songs, “Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd” and “Sweet” give the impression of the first song, all of them being extremely beautiful sounding. However, this is where her lyrics pick up quite a bit. She speaks about themes of insecurity and the feeling of being unwanted, but she does not forget to let us know that she is “that girl”. “Sweet” focuses on empowering herself through her being just, cool.
The fourth track, “A&W,” begins similarly with melodic voices and beautiful instruments, but halfway through the tempo changes completely. The second half of the track is extremely reminiscent of the Lust for Life era, an A$AP Rocky or Weeknd verse was needed. Jack Antonoff, a well-known producer for Lana, mentioned this song on an Instagram post before its release and called it one of his favorite songs that Lana has ever done.
The next track, as well as the seventh on the album, as interludes comprising of pastor’s preaching; again, the religious themes are very abundant this album, which is a change from some of her older music that I grew up on.
“Candy Necklaces” is one of the tracks off this album that feel like genuine poetry and paint such a clear picture. The kind of haunting melody goes hand in hand with the lyrics and makes this song, featuring Jon Batiste, a beautiful and simple addition to the album. “Kintsugi” and “Fingertips” tracks number eight and nine, feel the same, with dramatic instrumentals and beautifully crafted words.
At this point in the album, each song begins to start sounding similar, but each of them do have different sounding melodies. “Paris, Texas” gives a fairytale vibe, with the music sounding reminiscent of a Disney princess movie; it sounds more like a lullaby than anything.
The next few songs, “Grandfather please stand on the shoulders of my father while he’s deep sea-fishing” (which is a title worth looking at more than once), “Let The Light In,” and “Margaret” all give the same impression to me, they’re very similar to some of the other tracks previously mentioned.
One of my favorites off the album ended up being “Fishtail” which also reminds me of Lust for Life or Tulsa Jesus Freak. The album surprising got extremely upbeat towards the end with the next track “Peppers” also giving that. The album finished up with “Taco Truck x VB,” another amazing track title: this song has been on my Tik Tok several times since its release, most notably for the lyrics, “Pass me my vape, I’m feelin’ sick, I need to take a puff”
and “Oh, that’s why they call me “Lanita” When I get down I’m Bonita.” This song is a great way to send the album off, with a little bit of humor, whether she meant that or not.
Overall, I would say this album had its peaks and valleys and at times I definitely got a bit bored. I liked aspects of her gospel approach but once I got into the last few songs, I was more excited about listening to each song all the way through. I appreciate her new songwriting style, and I think it’s amazing to see her evolution, but I do love my “West Coast” “Brooklyn Baby” vibes, which are definitely present in the end.