Lana Del Rey returns with slow and dramatic single ‘Honeymoon’
It’s already four years ago that Lana Del Rey surprised the whole world with the beautiful and captivating single ‘Video Games’ that first made waves online and then conquered the international charts. Her album Born To Die sold pretty fast and even the follow up record Ultraviolence did rather well consindering the lack of promotion around that era. Now, somewhat more than a year later, she is back with first single ‘Honeymoon’, taken from the upcoming album with the same name. But is it just as atmospheric and flawless as her previous material?
It pains me to say this, but no, it is not. Followers of this blog might know that I am a big fan of Lana Del Rey and the singles run of ‘Video Games’, ‘Blue Jeans’, ‘Born To Die’, ‘Summertime Sadness’, ‘Ride’, ‘Young & Beautiful, ‘West Coast’ and so on, was impressive to say the least and made her into one of the most exciting and fresh pop stars around. Expectations are always high when she comes up with something new, and let’s be fair, she is one of the most productive pop stars out there, so that’s quite often, but this is the first time I feel like the material is disappointing. I am not saying it is bad, because it is absolutely not, but it is just not up to Lana standards and I will tell you why.
I, and I guess a lot of you as well, fell in love with Lana for her retro sound with a contemporary twist, the dramatic atmosphere and larger than life lyrics that are somehow relatable at the same time and that sensual and emotive voice of hers and I can tell you, all of that is more or less there in this new single. What is missing however, is the thing that made her music stand out the most: those insanely strong melodies, those memorable hooks. Tracks like ‘Born To Die’ or ‘Ride’ were filled with hook after hook that bursted into soaring choruses and that’s not found on ‘Honeymoon’. The track is pretty slow (think ‘Yayo’ or ‘Bel Air’) and retro cinematic and of course this suits her vocals perfectly, but you are waiting for a moment that the tension and drama of the violins build to a high and this never really happens. The lyrical shtick about falling in love with a bad guy with a dark past is there again, but is not quite as fun without a hook to back it up. The middle-eight comes close with some light rolling drums and slight vocal acrobatics and a stronger melody line, but it is not enough to save ‘Honeymoon’. I’m surprised this was chosen as a first single and will keep on hoping the album will have stronger material to offer.