Lana Del Rey is without question one of the most polarizing figures in music. On one hand, she has a rabid fanbase that seems willing to go to the grave for her music, but on the other, she has plenty of detractors as well, who point out the infamous SNL performance, her kind of weak singing, her simple lyrics, and the image she puts forth. I however, just think she’s good. She’s put out some great songs, “Ultraviolence” is a damn good album, and her “bad girl from the 50s” image is undeniably interesting. But I’m not going crazy about her, whether positively or negatively. But on “Honeymoon” is where I begin to lose her, as this is maybe the most boring, dull, and uninteresting album I’ve heard this year.
But this record does start out positively, at least. The opening and title track is simply stunning, as the luscious and spacy strings accentuated with those gorgeous pianos provide the perfect backdrop for Lana’s kind of hypnotizing voice. And for such an unorthodox and even abstract song that really highlights the “chamber” in “chamber pop,” it’s pretty melodic and even catchy. After this song I was all ready for this to be a great album, but lo and behold, it actually just turned out horrible.
Like I said earlier, this album is just boring. And to me, that’s one of the worst fates an album can suffer. For the 13 following tracks, that often go up to five or six minutes, make this album’s 66 minutes go on forever, literally nothing is good or re-listenable. The instrumentals are alright sounding, but ultimately do nothing more than that. It’s not like great melodic phrasing is being brought up, or that these instrumentals are crazy and unpredictable, they’re just alright, and the collective “meh” of the beats only highlights that this is Lana’s worst album-length performance. She isn’t coming with anything even remotely catchy, and this only shines a spotlight on the fact that she simply isn’t a great singer. Many times throughout the album she’s struggling to hit the notes (like on the hideous hook on “The Blackest Day”), and her voice isn’t that great of a presence either. She’s just doing her breathy, almost whisper singing throughout the record, and by track 3 it’s already sleep fuel.
“Honeymoon” suffers from a lot of things. It’s long, drawn out, unmemorable, and vocally questionable, but most of all, it’s just boring. When you don’t have any catchy songs, or great lyrics, or entertaining instrumentals, or any crazy out of the box ideas, then your album just becomes painfully uninteresting background music. And as someone who has admired some of Lana’s work in the past, this is pretty disappointing. I’ll continue to love that first track, but the following hour of this is straight up throwaway material.
Standout Tracks: “Honeymoon”