Lana Del Rey’s discography hits lucky number nine with new album

This past Friday, Lana Del Rey released her ninth studio album, “Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd.” As artists grow, so does their work. Del Rey’s new album is a prime example of growth in one’s work. “Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd” is pure poetry and the most sentimental the artist has ever been in an album.

The album starts off with “The Grants,” an extremely heartfelt song about Del Rey’s family. She pays tribute to her uncle, who passed in 2016, and her grandmother, who passed in 2021. “The Grants” is about Del Ray promising to carry precious memories of her loved ones even in the afterlife. This song sets the tone for the next few songs on the album, which are also emotional.

The New York-born singer-songwriter’s first breakthrough was with the single “Video Games.” Image courtesy of Apple Music

The following song, “Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd,” relates to “The Grants” in how she’s begging her family not to forget her, the same way she’ll hold their memories. “Sweet,” a melancholic ballad, dives into who she is as a person and is asking her partner if they’re aligned in terms of what they both want in life. She sings, “Do you want children? Do you wanna marry me? / Do you wanna run marathons in Long Beach by the sea? / I’ve got things to do, like nothing at all / I wanna do them with you / Do you wanna do them with me?”

“A&W,” which stands for “American Whore,” is about the world sexually objectifying her. She sings, “I mean, look at my hair / Look at the length of it and the shape of my body / If I told you that I was raped / Do you really think that anybody would think I didn’t ask for it? / I didn’t ask for it / I won’t testify / I already fucked up my story. / On top of this / so many other things you can’t believe.”

After these raw lyrics, Del Ray takes a huge twist on the song with a trap music beat and a sample of the R&B hit, “Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko Ko Bop.” This addictive second half of the song left listeners, like me, completely shook from the whirlwind of emotions throughout the song.

The new album also contains lots of spiritual and religious features. One of the tracks, “Judah Smith Interlude,” is a four-and-a-half-minute long sermon from pastor Judah Smith. On the track, Del Rey is heard giggling and commenting possibly sarcastic remarks while the pastor is giving his sermon.

Besides the controversy of Smith being outwardly homophobic, many simply found the track to be creepy, unnecessary and a definitive skip. Del Rey is Christian and believes in the core principles of Christianity. “Judah Smith Interlude” was strategically placed on the album to add darkness and depth after the conflicting messages of “A&W.”

“Paris, Texas,” featuring SYML, and “Peppers,” featuring Tommy Genesis, are two current fan favorites that are receiving lots of attention on social media. The album ends with “Taco Truck x VB,” which samples “Venice Bitch” from her previous album, “Norman Fucking Rockwell!” The sampling of “Venice Bitch” was extremely unexpected from fans and had everyone shocked.

After waiting almost two years for an album, “Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd” has received many positive reviews and ratings from eager fans and critics, even landing on the Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs list, as deserved.


5/5 Stars

Featured photo courtesy of Justin Higuchi, Wikipedia