Opinion: Lana Del Rey’s ‘Honeymoon’ would lead to divorce

Music blogger, David Bradford, reviews Lana Del Rey’s new album, “Honeymoon.”

Photo by Paulo Ribeiro, obtained via creativecommons.org

New York singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey is back with her fourth studio album titled Honeymoon. With the albums Born To Die in 2012 and Ultraviolence in 2014, Lana has gained immense recognition and a massive following. Doing this largely by developing the persona of a girl who pursues bad boys, drinks and parties all the time, smokes a little pot, and lives life on the “edge.”

On those albums Lana was going for a vintage, 1950’s/1960’s baroque pop feel, which was certainly felt in the instrumentals, but in terms of the lyrics, the subjects matters were approached in a trashy, overdramatic, cliche way that is distasteful and frankly disrespectful to the artists Lana is so heavily influenced by.

These two albums are easily two of the most shallow, unadventurous and uncomfortable albums I have heard in a long time, and unfortunately, with Honeymoon, its just more of the same, if not worse.

Lana is again using the persona that has gotten her this far, but continues to display the persona in such a direct way without any subtlety, that she fails to leave any form of emotional impact. Lana is again a girl who fails to see bad situations in front of her, and anytime she experiences heartbreak in these awful situations, she still fails to see that the situations were awful in the first place.

Take the title track, where Lana disturbingly talks about knowing about this man’s “violent past,” but in typical Lana fashion, she likes this dude anyway. I am not sure what message Lana is trying to get across with this song, but even if there were a message, I would refuse to take anything Lana says seriously because she is so superficial and pathetic.

Then there is the song “Terrence Loves You,” where Lana croons about how she “gets trashed” when she hears her ex-lover’s tune, which is usually Lana’s only method of attempting to get over heartbreak.

There is also the song “High by the Beach,” one of the worst singles I have heard all year featuring one of the most half-hearted choruses I have ever heard.

And honestly, everything Lana does on this album is half-hearted. Even when she tries to invoke the theme of religion in the songs “God Knows I Tried,” or “Religion,” she comes off as so disingenuous because of her actions. The ironic part of it all is that the song “God Knows I Tried,” is followed by “High by the Beach,” which could potentially be purposely placed next to each other to paint Lana as someone who cannot be saved, but her execution is lacking.

The only strong point of this album are the instrumentals, which feature the vintage sound that Lana is going after, but Lana does not give these performances justice with her vocals, which aim to be soothing and seductive, but with her moaning and groaning these songs come off as lazy, unappealing, and especially long-winded.

Seriously, this album is over an hour long because Lana stretches every shallow idea so far that there is nothing to even dive into.

This album is empty, boring, immature, lifeless and there is not a single moment where I felt any sympathy for Lana. And for a pop album, the listener should expect strong melodies and strong choruses that could possibly distract from Lana’s horrendous songwriting, but you don’t even get that from this album.

Rating: 2/10

The opinion of our writers/bloggers are not a reflection of the opinion of the Tennessee Journalist as a whole.
Featured Image by Paulo Ribeiro’s flickr, obtained via creativecommons.org
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Follow me @DavidJBradford1 on Twitter, email me at dbradfo2@vols.utk.edu for any questions.

34 thoughts on “Opinion: Lana Del Rey’s ‘Honeymoon’ would lead to divorce

  1. Why didn’t you mention her as a pop singer at the beginning ? So I wouldn’t bother reading the whole . The word pop made me laugh, honestly. And please, don’t ask a fan if they understand her songs when you clearly has less conditions to understand better, you can’t compare yourself (a complete outsider into her universe) with someone who listens to her frequently and takes more time to absorb what she was transmitting. I learned that there’s NO unpretentious art manifestation. If she’s not your thing, at least show more respect in your critique. If there are people here disagreeing with you, just accept the idea that they are able to find meaning in something while you are not , and that’s okay. I’m sure that what bothered them (and me) was the way you expressed yourself.

  2. I agree that you’re entitled to your opinion and it is alright to not like an artist but please do not so blatantly insult her as there are many people who do like her and admire her music and the ideas she’s trying to bring in her songs (me, for example), so you could be a bit more nicer about it.

  3. These commenters are clearly die-hard LDR fans who make excuses for whatever she does. In my opinion (which people are entitled to have), I agree with you completely. LDR, frankly, is boring and not impressive in the slightest. Her lyrics are laughable. For instance, “Get a little bit of bourbon in ya. Get a little bit suburban and go crazy”, yes because the suburban parties are the craziest. Here’s another, “My boyfriend’s in the band. He plays guitar while I sing Lou Reed. I’ve got feathers in my hair. I get down to Beat poetry. I’m a Brooklyn baby.” She managed to romanticizes all of the worst modern indie stereotypes imaginable, which hopeful her intention in writing that was to make fun of them. Oh wait, some more terrible lyrics, “You talk lots about God… But that’s not what this bitch wants. Dope and diamonds. Diamonds. Diamonds diamonds diamonds. That’s all that I want, man.” Yes man, that’s all she wants and she will get it with all the time and money these cult followers give her for talking about money and drugs. And for the finale, “Come on down to Florida. I got something for ya. We could see the kilos or the Keys, baby. Oh, yeah, guns in the summertime. Chic-a-Cherry Cola, lime. Prison isn’t nothing to me if you’ll be by my side.” Who is she trying to flirt with? Lil Wayne? If any of these points are made, the hard core fans jump in like they did in this article, and say “She is playing a character. This isn’t really her.” Well congrats to Lana. She managed to protray the most cliche character of all time; a drug addict, mis-understood girl who falls in love with bad boys and enjoys staying in abusive relationships, so interesting. Now I am willing to overlook questionable lyrics if the artist can give a good performance, so when she came on SNL I was excited to see if she could redeem herself. Sadly, all I got was awkward swaying and an expressionless, boring face. It’s not just this one performance that has been like this though. In watching numerous Youtube videos of her performning at concerts, she gives me the same boring performance. LDR can’t write and can’t even perform well. Hopefully in the future she gets rid of this ridiculous persona and attempts to write some actual, tolerable music that doesn’t consist of constant talk about drugs, alcohol, and bad boys. She has all the potential: her voice is nice, she has some catchy melodies, she’s pretty, and she has a large following. All she has to do now is write and perform some good music.

  4. Why was I wrong for trashing that song? What about it is so good? Literally one of the most tedious songs I have ever had to listen to.

  5. She is no different than anybody on radio in terms of quality. She has a different style, that doesn’t make her any good. Her references are also part of my problem with her. She references these different things in possibly the most boring and basic way imaginable. It’s like a High Schooler reading The Great Gatsby for the first time and thinking that they have advanced knowledge in literature. Just because she uses them doesn’t mean she uses them right.

  6. I haven’t fallen for anything. I just reviewed the album. I understand what she is doing. Doesn’t make it good.

  7. The problem is Lana does not stand out at all. I don’t mind her playing a character. It has nothing to do with her being female and David Bowie being a male. The difference is David Bowie is an exceptional songwriter and lyricist who pulls off his character in an interesting way. I appreciate Lana’s attempt at portraying a troubled women, but do it in a way that is actually captivating and interesting. She doesn’t come across as troubled in anyway, just immature and shallow.

    Also, it doesn’t matter if I have disliked her albums in the past, that doesn’t take away my right to give her music a chance, which I have always done. In addition, this is a prominent release, so not reviewing it would be unwise of me. People just can’t seem to handle there is another perspective on Lana.

  8. This is one of the most brutal reviews I read in a while. Why so nasty? This is why I dislike critics and could care less what they think. Lana stands out from all the stripper pop that’s out today. She has breathy vocals and her lyrics are I agree somewhat disturbing but paints a picture of a troubled woman. Whether its real or not is of no consequence. You sound so bitter like you hate both women and music. Lana Del Rey is a persona just like Ziggy Stardust was for David Bowie. But I guess its only cool when a guy has a persona. I like her and if you hate her that much then maybe you should critique someone else because your personal feelings clouds your review of her work. Take a chill pill dude. There was no need to be this insulting and disrespectful towards Lana.

  9. I don’t really analyze Lana’s lyrics but to call her lyrically immature with some of the crap we hear on the radio today seems a little low. I think she is over the top to draw a response from people and obviously she does. She has referenced Walt Whitman and Jim Morrison a few times in her songs, and I think that’s a nice touch to convey her persona. There was also a Robert Frost line on honeymoon but I’m not sure the significance yet

  10. I agree with David and abusive fans behaving like brats because someone doesn’t worship their pop idol just about sums up the whole situation.

  11. It doesn’t matter what you think. You’re an idiot. This “review” is nothing but an anti-Lana piece of crap. You don’t understand her music. So just refrain from bloody writing about her.

  12. Lizzy is a badass. In High School she was a bit mysterious, a classic girl-next-door beauty and yet, completely humble and unassuming. I have to admit, even those of us that spent time with her completely underestimated her potential. She continues to amuse me with her ever present humility, blatant disregard for the opinions of others, and her extraordinarily well planned career decisions. The author has completely fallen for the con. Put down the Kool-aid sir.

  13. Apparently a few million or more people disagree with you. Maybe you are intellectually too far ahead for those few million dopes who enjoy her music !?

  14. I appreciate your opinion, even if your opinion is wrong. All I hear is excuses for her portrayal of a boring, awful character. She could pull off this character in a truly interesting and emotional way, but give me one song where she actually accomplishes that?

  15. You just do not understand camp at all. You recognize that she’s playing up a persona but then criticize her for being “superficial” and “not recognizing bad situations”, as if she were a standard singer-songwriter. The cognitive dissonance is too much. If you’ve disliked her since Born to Die I’m not sure why you wasted your time here. You should’ve handed this review off to someone unbiased.

  16. Whether you assign 0/10 or 10/10 to LDR’s records is immaterial to me (and I expect most readers). What is material is the content of your review.

    You write “I am not sure what message Lana is trying to get across with this song, but even if there were a message,
    I would refuse to take anything Lana says seriously because she is so superficial and pathetic.”

    You project your feelings on to an album that exists beyond the scope of your solipsism. In other words, no one cares that you believe LDR is “superficial and pathetic”.

    A Journalist has an obligation to report facts (first and foremost). A Journalist is not a Poet or Novelist.
    You published your review on the UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE’S SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM AND ELECTRONIC MEDIA website.

    If you have unbridled feelings that you wish to convey, then publish on a poetry website. Good luck with that.

  17. I fail to understand your point. If I am to give my opinion on music and I want to publish content on music once per week, why would I not take the time to review a new Lana Del Rey album, why would I not give the album any attention, considering it was the most notable thing to happen to music this week? Why would I not give an opinion on an album that a lot of people are interested in listening to? Why would I dismiss an album simply because past albums are bad? I am interested in and open to listening to all forms of music, regardless if like an artist or not. I am not obligated to give any album a positive review, and I am not obligated to not review an album simply because I don’t like it. Since a lot of people like Lana Del Rey, of course I would review her next album, which I always go in with an open mind hoping she will improve, but alas, she has failed once again. I have every right to review any album I desire and give an honest opinion. My higher cause is to review music. Not every review will be a 9/10 or 10/10. Why must it be? Must I only post positive reviews? Maybe someone reading this review will learn something about the artist and gain insight on why people might not like her music. Reviewing this album doesn’t undermine my intelligence, nor define it. If you look at other publications who review music, such as pitchfork or theneedledrop or rolling stone, they review music negatively all the time, and review albums from artists they had previously been negative towards all the time. Some people just can’t handle that they like Lana and someone gave her new album a 2/10.

  18. If LDR played her character “awfully”, then why would you bother to listen to three albums? A smart man would conclude that the material is unsuited to his taste and move on.

    You are a slow learner or you write for an emotional reaction. In either case, aim for a higher cause and make your colleagues proud that the share a lecture hall with a man of higher intellect.

  19. You are entitled to your opinion, even if your opinion is wrong. There is a reason why she has taken the music industry by storm. Personally, I am sick and tired of the energetic pop artists that are emerging right and left…I love her soft and heady vocals. The truth is, what you hear as “half-hearted,” I hear as the ability to express barren heartfelt emotion without the need to sing it loudly and robustly. She expresses her emotions purely, without the distraction of loud choruses, inspirational climactic sounding tones, and a plethora of instruments. Her plain tunes and minor key undertones are beautiful to me.

  20. My point is that she plays the character awfully. Her playing a character does not dismiss her immature lyricism, sloppy vocals, and overall a boring portrayal of said character. If her purpose it to be awful, then I give her credit for achieving that.

  21. I hope you realize that Lana Del Rey is a construct – a character that Elizabeth Grant plays. She even told producer Dan Auerbach during the making of last year’s ‘Ultraviolence’ that Lana Del Rey was an “art project”. Therefore she can tell the tragic story of this woman from another era through song, image and video. Use that as your starting point and listen again.

  22. You did not care for her first two albums for the same reasons that you do not care for this one. Perhaps it is time for you to move on to something else. Your opinion is as valuable as the paper it is written on. If the UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE’S SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM AND ELECTRONIC MEDIA is aptly represented in your prose, then I would not anticipate a Pulitzer Prize any time in the near to distant future.

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