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Let the light come into your life

Lana Del Rey is no longer writing hits, she's making records, and "Did You Know That There's A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd" (Universal) is the quietest LP in a long time.

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Let the light come into your life

Lana Del Rey is no longer writing hits, she's making records, and "Did You Know That There's A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd" (Universal) is the quietest LP in a long time. Many of the songs don't have a hook line, something doesn't immediately stick to the songwriter's fishing rod, you rather have the feeling of watching her fly-fishing, which primarily serves meditative purposes.

In "Tunnel" the listener often imagines themselves in an empty, dark hall, which is only lit by candles here and there and in which Lana Del Rey sighs in front of the microphone. The instrumentation is sparse, the strings remain in the background, only very rarely does a beat pump.

It is the ninth album by the singer-songwriter, born Elizabeth Woolridge Grant in 1985. After a break on the previous album "Blue Bannisters", she worked together again with her proven producer Jack Antonoff. Three of the 16 songs had been released in advance, most recently "The Grants".

It's not easy to rate the others after listening to them once, because Lana Del Rey's music, like some medications, only works after it's been taken regularly. The melancholic cadences gently scrape their way into your brain, she sings the same lines over and over again, and you remember a few of them straight away. "I met my boyfriend down at the Taco truck" for example, or the "Uuhhhh, let the light in / Uuhhh, turn your light on" in the song she recorded with Father John Misty, which tells of an amour fou.

This twelfth track is a little cracker, maybe a big one. After that it gets weird. For example, if you listen to her pastor, Judah Smith (the same celebrity priest Justin Bieber swears by and known for his stirring sermons), speak, why is she laughing? Or is another woman laughing? What is this sermon about? And who's going to listen to that for four and a half minutes in the middle of a mega pop act's new record?

Apparently, the more LDR surrounds itself with the same people, in a small but very productive bubble, the more demonstratively the artistry is hung out. So she wrote five of the songs together with her ex-boyfriend Mike Hermosa.

It's not a feel-good record, the song "Kintsugi", named after the Japanese art of repairing, is really sad. But LDR can also be funny. "If you want a basic bitch, go to Beverly Hills" it says in "Sweet" or something like that. We don't know exactly, the record company hasn't sent any lyrics yet. Speaking of bitches. The singer had a single album billboard in Tulsa, Oklahoma, because that's where her cop ex, Sean Larkin, is from -- the album's announcement fell on his birthday.

"It's something personal," she commented on this micro-campaign on Instagram. Of course it is. Everything about Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd is personal. Sometimes maybe a little too much. But then the album is still suitable for what Lana albums are mostly used for, beyond playing single hits: as a soundscape of our own life, which is unfortunately not so dramatic after all.

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