After Chemtrails Over The Country Club and Blue Banisters, the highly anticipated ‘Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd’ is finally out. Firstly, only promoted in Lana’s ex-boyfriend’s hometown and later everywhere, Ocean Blvd is an album for everybody and not just Lana.
This time Lana has a pastor and a psychic by her side that take the metaphysics further. The album is heavily influenced by religion but mainly by family. In Ocean Blvd, Lana looks at her family lineage and her role in it. In the title track, Lana repeatedly asks: ‘When’s it gonna be my turn?’ and wonders if she will ever get married and become a mother.
Heavily diaristic, Lana continues to journal everything and then sing it. This is evident in the titles alone, such as, Grandfather please stand on the shoulders of my father whilst he’s deep-sea fishing and the title track Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd. Accused 10 years ago of having every song sound the same, it is only now that she has reached that point. It makes me wonder how much poetry and music can collide, but Ocean Blvd works incredibly as an album as she remains sonically Californian but takes an interesting Billie Holiday turn on this record.
There is no doubt that there are radio hits on this album, such as the cinematic Paris, Texas, which could easily be used in a Sofia Coppola movie, and A&W, which already hints at being a fan-favourite as Lana mentions her infamous ex-boyfriend Jim in it. Rethinking love and lust, in A&W, Lana admits: ‘It’s not about having someone to love me anymore.’ Candy Necklace would be another top track, and possibly so is for Lana herself as she is currently working on a music video for it.
Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd is another one of Lana’s albums that stands as a social commentary in which she is trying to explain her story. In Grandfather please stand on the shoulders of my father, for the first time, Lana strikes at accusations made years ago that she was made into Lana Del Rey by someone else to fit the scene. There might be a time Lana runs out of things to contemplate but then there would not be many albums left that make you feel like you are reading someone’s journal.
Yet again collaborating with Father John Misty on Let The Light In and producing Ocean Blvd with Jack Antonoff the album already looks of great quality. Combining jazz with trap is not an unusual move from Lana but the outcome always comes as a surprise. Ocean Blvd was highly anticipated and overall, not disappointing at all. In fact, its effect keeps growing in the same way Norman Fucking Rockwell did.
By Ali Krausova
Photo by Steady Hand Co