Lana Del Rey
Ultraviolence


1.5
very poor

Review

by LaughingSkull USER (34 Reviews)
June 15th, 2014 | 33 replies


Release Date: 06/17/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Disgustingly vapid

Compared to the intense media hype that preceded Lana del Rey's debut album, the foreshadowing of Ultraviolence was somehow conspicuously low-profile. Some would say that this was done to avoid a backlash or because Lana was already an established name and an extensive promotion wasn't needed. Or maybe, del Rey's ambition and drive (if they ever even existed) were withered by the merciless criticism of her debut and live performances. But now that the sophomore effort is out, it becomes apparent that there really wasn't that much to hype about anyway.

Like Born to Die, the theme at hand here is a rotten and corrupted core underneath a pretty exterior. This should come as no surprise; after all, that is the persona around which Lana has apparently decided to build her entire discography. However, where Born to Die was charming and relatable in the way it struggled for the preservation of a crippled soul, Ultraviolence is almost repulsive in the way it is beyond resigned, beyond weary and jaded, completely dead. If Born to Die managed to at least juggle between dreariness and reckless ambition, Ultraviolence is simply devoid of any spark. As of the writing of this review, Lana del Rey has about a week left to join the 27 Club, and it almost feels like this album is a suicide note -- that's how lifeless it is.

To cover up for her lack of lyrical wit, Lana's debut relied on dialling up strings of buzzwords related to mid-20th century America. And it actually worked. Ultraviolence however doesn't have the decency to do even that, and we get absolutely cringeworthy lines such as "He used to call me poison / Like I was poison ivy". Ughhh!!!
Musically, the compositions are extremely stripped down and repetitive. The lavish instrumentations and hooks that suffused her prefious effort are gone and replaced with something just above a monotonous drone. Save for the addition of a flangy guitar on a few tracks such as Shades of Cool and Money, Power, Glory, nothing is noteworthy.

At first, this album's failure may appear to have been the product of too many original ideas having been already used in the debut. I am a firm believer that songs such as Blue Jeans, Video Games and Born to Die are masterpieces that will go down in history. Perhaps all of Lana's creative potential was already used for the creation of these iconic tracks? I don't think so; from about fifty "unreleased" tracks that the singer has produced, I can handpick at least a half-dozen great numbers, if not more, that would have been excellent replacement for the disposable material on this album. Why did she not just dust them off, polish them a bit, and put them on this record? And just what is the "ultraviolent" thing about this album?

Avoid.



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user ratings (295)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
ArsMoriendi
June 15th 2014


5713 Comments


"And just what is the "ultraviolent" thing about this album?"

Ultraviolence is a nadsat term for "rape"

Nadsat was the dialect used in A Clockwork Orange. That's where the term originates.

Digging: Beck - Mutations

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
June 15th 2014


6480 Comments


"Ultraviolence is a nadsat term for "rape"

I think in Nadsat "ultraviolence" just refers to violent acts in general, not necessarily limited to just rape.

Digging: The Twilight Sad - Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters

WeepingBanana
June 15th 2014


10206 Comments


"Lana del Rey has about a week left to join the 27 Club, and it almost feels like this album is a suicide note -- that's how lifeless it is."

really poor taste there

i've heard a song or two off this i think. i like lana and she's one of my gf's favorite artists so i'll probably hear all of this very soon

Wolfhorde
June 15th 2014


13686 Comments


So, is she still trying to be Nancy Sinatra/-esque artists?

BMDrummer
June 15th 2014


9413 Comments


I guess I should avoid this huh

Digging: Fugazi - First Demo

botb
June 15th 2014


9757 Comments


wish this whole breathy pop singer shit would fade, so annoying

Digging: Solstafir - Ótta

Azn.
June 15th 2014


5615 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

holy shit this review

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
June 15th 2014


1697 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Sadly I don't really enjoy Lana like most people, probably just not my cup of tea.

Pizzahut
June 15th 2014


113 Comments


She's always been awful. Although Paradise was fun at times.

BeneaththeDarkOcean
June 15th 2014


463 Comments


"As of the writing of this review, Lana del Rey has about a week left to join the 27 Club, and it almost feels like this album is a suicide note -- that's how lifeless it is."

Kinda funny you mention this, when, in her recent interview in the Guardian, she basically actually stated "I would be better off dead"

DropdeadWHA
June 15th 2014


699 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This review l o l.

Cygnatti
June 16th 2014


21837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"I think in Nadsat "ultraviolence" just refers to violent acts in general, not necessarily limited to just rape."

you're wrong. ultraviolence explicitly meant rape in clockwork orange.

"wish this whole breathy pop singer shit would fade, so annoying"

is it as bad as the whiny pop singer shit?

Digging: Autechre - Chiastic Slide

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
June 16th 2014


6480 Comments


"you're wrong. ultraviolence explicitly meant rape in clockwork orange"

Shit, my whole knowledge of that film is a lie. I ought to just read the damn book already.

Cygnatti
June 16th 2014


21837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

never watched the film, just read most of the book. :x

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
June 16th 2014


6480 Comments


You need to see the film dude. It's a masterpiece, my favorite movie of all time personally.

Cygnatti
June 16th 2014


21837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

hm, actually I may be wrong. I sooo need to re-read the book, but that would be re-learning the language again omfg.

I do clearly recall him raping someone and them calling it ultraviolence so hmm

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
June 16th 2014


6480 Comments


I can't speak for the book, but in the movie it seems that Alex refers to all acts of violence he does as "ultraviolence," like beating an old homeless man and such. But I mean you could be right.

StolenIdentity
June 17th 2014


241 Comments


The 27 club statement was a bit harsh.

The rest of the review contained some pretty valid points though.

deathschool
June 17th 2014


10056 Comments


The Club 27 statement is completely unecessary and in terrible taste if the tone of your review is meant to be serious.

Digging: The Smith Street Band - Throw Me In The River

Egarran
June 17th 2014


334 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I would be worried if everybody liked this. Thanks for the anger.



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