Whilst ‘Ultraviolence’, Lana’s last album, rode a theme of desperation, loneliness and unrequited, abusive love, ‘Honeymoon’ is about a love laced with quivering hope, freedom and vengeance – so only more tormenting. Lyrically, Lana has somewhat brought back the sass of her debut album ‘Born To Die’. Melodically, she has not returned to pop, and sings longing, legato notes in her high, Marilyn-esque pitch. For tracks such as ‘High By The Beach’ however, we do hear the lower end of her range, pining over distorted, hip-hop beats. Throughout the album, the epic, natural string section that Lana is so well known for is occasionally quietened, making room for either mellow electronic organs or exotic percussion, concocting visions of The Godfather films, especially the song ‘Salvatore’. The all-consuming obsession with Americana and its darkest corners remains the overbearing force behind Lana’s work, and ‘Honeymoon’, despite being not as dreary as ‘Ultraviolence’, is somewhat more haunting for this reason. ‘Honeymoon’ paints a vision larger than “the other woman” from ‘Ultraviolence’, depicting instead a tangled story of hazy nights out, anonymity as a ‘Freak’ in California, and the desire to run away and have it all. The theatrical tone is chilling and strange. In the interlude ‘Burnt Norton’, we listen to Lana recite a philosophical monologue about the nature of time, of present, future and past, over the top of psychedelic sounds and vibrations, and the mirage of drugs, neon lights and the glamour of sadness thickens. Successfully again, Lana will pull you into her world of self-made illusion, that grapples onto beauty in a tragic reality. Her music’s openness about suffering from irrational infatuation, and from one’s vicious disenchantment with their existence, is what continues to make Lana Del Rey’s work, and the ‘Honeymoon’ album, so uncanny and addictive.
The opening strings take me to a dream world. How viable is it to live in a put together universe? How long could you get away with it before it got torn down? Or, how long could you get away with it before it became real? Cos then the dream’s no longer the dream, and then surely, it can’t taste so good anymore.