SINGLE REVIEW: Lana Del Rey – “High By The Beach”

Lana-Del-Rey-High-By-The-Beach-Review

Artist: Lana Del Rey
Track: “High By The Beach”
Album: Honeymoon

A year after Ultraviolence took her cinematic aesthetic to its creative extreme, Lana Del Rey has cut loose with a hazy new single fans old and new will be talking about for months to come.

“High By The Beach” is the second song from Lana Del Rey’s upcoming album to arrive online. It follows the release of the title track, “Honeymoon,” which proved to be an extension of the cinematic vibes found on Ultraviolence, only delivered with a ever so slightly brighter disposition. I thought the song was good, perhaps even better than that, but it ultimately felt like a safe bet for a woman who burst onto the radar with a unique sound and lyrics to match.

If you feel the same, or if you simply crave a return to the brash honesty that first put LDR on your radar then “High By The Beach” might as well be your new anthem. The hypnotic tune meshes the hip-hop inspired groove of Born To Die with the storytelling precision of Ultraviolence to create a new, yet altogether familiar hypnotic sound you won’t be able to put down. It’s audio crack for people who like chill wave tracks about blowing off the people who make you feel small and embracing the simplest pleasures in life for no other reason than the fact it’s the best thing you could possibly do with your time. Lana doesn’t give a shit about politics or war or even romance on this track. If anything, she’s heartbroken, and the only cure is a return to the simple life.

The lyrics reflect the heartache mentioned above, with Lana doing her best to tell a lover that he’s never going to be the man she needs in her life. He might be a “bad motherfucker,” as she so bluntly states, but that is not enough to win her heart. She’s been down that road before and all she has to show for it are two albums, a legion of fans, and an unavoidable sense of perpetual loneliness that all of the fame in the world could never take away. If she’s going to ever find something more, she needs to make a change, and that begins with an escape to the beach. Treat yourself, as they say.

We could write all this off as a classic LDR cut about love gone awry, but there may be something a bit more subliminal at play here as well. Lana’s rise to fame was sudden and riddled with criticism. As she rose in popularity, her attempts at experimentation were met with complaints by those who felt she needed to remain one thing forever. Ultraviolence sold well, but anyone familiar with LDR’s fan base will tell you the songs didn’t have the sticking power of the tracks found on Born To Die or Paradise. People want the simple, easy to sing stuff, and Lana wanted to share something a bit more real. She did things her way, and regardless of how people reacted she continues to have throngs of fans around the world begging for her to make an appearance in town. She’s learned she doesn’t need the suggestions of her musical industry peers just like she doesn’t need a faux bad-ass telling her how to life her life. She’s Lana Del Rey, goddammit, and that’s all she needs to be.

Review written by James Shotwell

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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  • xwy

    Well said, I hope this era will be about the music and nothing else

  • Tom Bradley

    All I wanna do is get high with LDR by the beach, bye bye…..top tune! classy Lady

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