Monday, 14 April 2014

Lana Del Rey - West Coast


She started off so well.  When Video Games first hit the internet way back in Summer 2011, Del Rey’s mix of retro glamour and modern hip-hop cool was instantly heralded as the next big thing.

What followed was a debut album that wavered from the sublime to the weird or just plain dull; a deluxe edition including new songs with ridiculous lyrics (you know the one – I can’t look at Pepsi Cola the same way); a joke of an H&M ad campaign with an utterly forced sense of cool and a terrible Blue Velvet cover; and an obvious spot on Baz Lurhmann’s Great Gatsby soundtrack.  It’s fair to say that, over time, Del Rey has become a clich√© of herself.

It comes as excellent news, then, that she’s redeemed herself with her new track West Coast.  This is still the same sultry, nationalistic Lana that fans have come to love, with a husky vocal delivery that lounges lazily over the production like a Hollywood starlet on a chaise longue (complete with questionable diction).  The song is split into two halves: a somewhat menacing uptempo (for Del Rey) verse, followed by a woozy and seductive chorus.  As a whole, the song has a darker and more angsty tone, with a focus on muted guitars and spiky rhythms that’s reminiscent of The Neighbourhood and their excellent track Sweater Weather.  It’s enough of a change to invite some new fans to the party – the sort of party where glamorous hipsters dance in slow motion to music on LP, coiled in a haze of smoke and whiskey.

With West Coast, Del Rey is back where she belongs: setting trends with her glamorous cool.  Welcome back.

4/5

Listen: West Coast is released on 18th April and will feature on forthcoming album 'Ultraviolence'.