There's something about Lana Del Rey's tone that means you'll either love her music or hate it. She is THE marmite of the music industry, and for the longest time I've been in the latter, finding her music dreary and unimpressive for the most part, with the 'Summertime Sadness' remix and Great Gatsby hit 'Young and Beautiful' being the only tracks I could stomach.

Putting that aside I decided to take on 'Ultraviolence' with a fresh approach. Previously reviewing 'West Coast' I had a feeling I knew what to expect - more of the same - but if this collection of new tunes did prove anything to me after a first listen, it was that Lana is one of the more interesting stars in the industry.

Despite my previous thoughts on 'West Coast' it plays its part here as the song that recaptures your attention - not necessarily upbeat but definitely a little more exciting than those that came before it.

To say Lana sings with some emotion is fair, but it's hard to relate to the lyrics she's singing when her sound is so similar throughout.

That is until number eight when 'Money Power Glory' finally manages to make an impression on me. Its rambunctious and explosive production force Lana to push her vocals to her limits and it's a real treat for the ears.

'Old Money' is hypnotic, allowing her talent to shine in the first few moments when she is given the chance to sing without a heavy echo, and the 'will you still love me when I shine?' gives memories of 'Young and Beautiful'. It's certainly an album standout that comes before the story told in the closing 'The Other Woman'.

Haunting and a little spooky with the use of trills toward the end, it seems the perfect song to finish things with.

I come away from the record with close to the same feelings I had for Lana's music before. There's a little more hope from me and a real admiration for 'Money Power Glory', but other than this I'm pained to find many positives. Though I wish I was on the loving-Lana express train with her millions of fans, it's one I just cannot seem to board.

Lana Del Rey's 'Ultraviolence' is released Monday June 16.

by for
find me on and follow me on

Tagged in

  1. by Vicente Garcia 13th Jun 2014 04:22

    A fair enough review. I think it's much better than you say, but you at least don't come across as completely smug like other anti-Lana reviewers.

  2. by Bloodred Jamsoul 13th Jun 2014 04:28

    Your taste in music was defined by your love for the deeply hated Summertime Sadness remix. From a self-confessed tasteless hater what we could expect

  3. by Daniel Falconer 13th Jun 2014 07:38

    Thanks Vicente, I'm glad you're enjoying the album.

  4. by james 13th Jun 2014 10:34

    This review mentions nothing about the lyrics, the themes of the album or how cohesive it is. You only briefly touch on how you don't like Lana and this sound and you are disappointed that it isn't more like the SS remix? You only reviewed three songs positively and gave the entire album 2 stars.

    Also: MPG, is not Lana pushing her voice to the limit, watching performances and other songs shows that its more natural for her to be in that range.

  5. by shane 13th Jun 2014 10:45

    I agree, this album is pure shite

  6. by Daniel Falconer 13th Jun 2014 10:51

    "'will you still love me when I shine?' gives memories of 'Young and Beautiful'"

    The rest of the lyrics for me blurred quickly because of the monotonous tone ringing true throughout.

    If it's more natural for Lana to be in the range displayed in MPG I do wonder why she sticks to the dreary vocals she puts out in most other places.

    Pairing this album with the new Guardian interview where she claims she wishes she was dead (an awful message for her fans), I could say that we've resulted in a collection of tracks either:

    A) birthed from a state of depression, which is very sad
    B) created to keep up a media persona

  7. by james 13th Jun 2014 12:03

    Lana's music is autobiographical, it is how she feels. She doesn't have a 'media persona' therefore you have clearly missed the message behind songs like MPG - which is a song virtually attacking critics who keep calling her inauthentic.

    Because you find the songs monotonous, which they are not doesn't mean you should cancel out the lyrics to those songs - maybe if you listened to the album more carefully you would have a valuable opinion.

    You have basically gave a negative review to an album that is very cohesive, because it is cohesive. Also the use of her range in MPG is also found in West Coast, Shades of Cool, FMWUTTT and Black Beauty.

  8. by Daniel Falconer 13th Jun 2014 12:10

    The point of a review is to give an opinion on the subject matter, which I have done - not given a 'negative review' because the album is cohesive.

    I wouldn't say my review is entirely a negative one (as other Lana fans have also noted), but I do realise that some may be offended if perhaps, they know Lana in person?

    This is Lana's album. If she wants to be offended by my review then that's absolutely fine. She's entitled to. It's HER work. I do wonder why fans of hers get so up in arms when someone has a tad bit of criticism however.

    I hope you enjoy listening to Ultraviolence and I'm sure the first week sales will put a smile on your face.

  9. by Helen Earnshaw 13th Jun 2014 13:19

    Everyone just needs to chill. Everyone's music tastes are going to differ, and everyone is entitled to their opinion!!!!! Just because you don't agree with what is being said, doesn't m... Read More

  10. by Breaking Bad 13th Jun 2014 13:25

    When all is said and done I do believe this sophomore album will join the rest of those other cursed sophomore albums that doom an artist to future failure until the end of their career. I didn't enjoy a single song.

  11. by james 13th Jun 2014 12:34

    But you have given a negative review? Its not that i'm up in arms over criticism its that you have given a review based on the album not being what you expected and your pre hatred of her.

  12. by scifichick1 13th Jun 2014 13:36

    The only song I've really listened to of Lana's is 'Once Upon A Dream' and I have to say its kind of depressing not at all like the original version in Disney Sleeping Beauty, although I do think that it is a good fit for Maleficent.

    The other songs I've heard of hers are all kind of the same, the ones that I have heard on the radio are slow and dark and depressing, I can't tell them apart!

    But that's just my opinion I'm more in to bands than solo artists :)

  13. by Daniel Falconer 13th Jun 2014 12:40

    I've actually given a review that's focused more on the positives and even states: "Though I wish I was on the loving-Lana express train with her millions of fans, it's one I just cannot seem to board."

    I won't be apologising for having an opinion and Lana's music not being to my taste but as I've said I'm extremely happy that fans seem satisfied by Ultraviolence. More power to them and to Lana.

    Pre-hatred is just stupid. I don't hate Lana. I dislike her music and hate the comments she made in a new interview, but I don't know her as a person and do not 'hate' her.

  14. by Daniel Falconer 13th Jun 2014 12:44

    I did enjoy the Maleficent track simply because it seemed to go so well with the dark and eerie film trailer.

  15. by james 13th Jun 2014 12:48

    You literally say in the first line of this review that you hate her music.

    I'm not saying you should apologise for her not being your taste, but you're not reviewing her album you're reviewing your continued dislike for her sound. The review does not reflect the rating.

  16. by Daniel Falconer 13th Jun 2014 12:55

    The rating is 2/5. Could also be seen as 4/10. Let's say I give 1 point per song I enjoyed. There's 3 points. I then add a point because of everything I state in the review including but not limited to:
    MPG impressing
    and the appreciation I have for the genre she's trying to 'get out there'.
    4/10. 2/5.

  17. by james 13th Jun 2014 13:02

    So the review is based on your enjoyment of the album? Not how well the songs are written, how much her vocals have improved/changed, the cohesiveness of the album, the improvement from the last album? Just enjoyment... ok then I guess I don't have a problem with the review if the review does not review the album.

  18. by Daniel Falconer 13th Jun 2014 13:13

    'Enjoyment' comes from my opinion of the record and all the parts that are used to put it together, which an album review is usually based on.
    If you'd like to get into the nitty gritty of my review and for me to point out what I thought could be read between the lines, I'll happily do that.
    Mediocre writing with vocals that haven't changed enough for me to take the time to really admire them, a cohesiveness of monotony and drabness and more of the same when compared to the last album, with less experimentation on offer if anything.

  19. by james 13th Jun 2014 13:49

    UV is nothing like BTD and claims that it is more of the same are quite frankly ridiculous. Lana employs a completely different tone on this album and vocals that are no where near the same as on BTD, if you disagree with this then it would show that you haven't listened to the album at all.

    The writing is not mediocre, don't be silly, Lana is a better songwriter than most of her contemporaries and this album clearly displays that. Everything you claim seems to be based on your hatred of her music and a little objectivity wouldn't hurt, especially when you gave Iggy Azaleas recent album 4/5.

  20. by Raymond 13th Jun 2014 19:34

    I'm glad to see a review that doesn't personally attack her. I do enjoy the album a lot, and am honestly trying to let it settle in. Musically, it's very different from her previous works.
    I can't understand these fans attacking you for giving a critique, though... like, y'all are only hurting yourselves and making yourselves look irrational. Just wait until they see the review from NY Daily.

  21. by Aaron D 14th Jun 2014 06:57

    I know, let's have someone who has declared they "can't stomach" Lana Del Rey do the review!!

    Ridiculous waste of time.

  22. by Daniel Falconer 17th Jun 2014 11:06

    Glad you're enjoying the record Raymond! It's doing well I see.

  23. by Daniel Falconer 17th Jun 2014 11:07

    Can't stomach her PREVIOUS songs Aaron. As mentioned, I came into this with a fresh perspective and unfortunately it still fell flat for me.