By Paige Jackson ’24
Popular American singer, Lana Dey Rey, released her ninth studio album at midnight on March 24, 2023. This album is titled: Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd and consists of 16 songs, with a one hour and 17 minute run time. This album is deeply introspective and is emotionally significant on multiple levels. Unlike her past albums, which included more upbeat lyrics and backing tracks, this album takes on a more somber tone for most of the songs. Rolling Stone described it as “Her Most Soul-Searching Album Yet.”
The album starts with a heart-wrenching song titled The Grants. The artist’s real name is Lizzy Grant, but she adopted her stage name of Lana Del Rey around 2009. This song took Lana back to her roots and depicts her undying love for her family. She shares how she will take her memories of her loved ones to the afterlife with her through the lyric “I’m gonna take mine of you with me.” She says she will take her “sister’s first born child” as well as her “grandmother’s smile” to heaven with her.
This album contains more notions to Lana’s religious side. The seventh song, Judah Smith Interlude, is an intermission featuring a sermon by the famous preacher, Judah Smith. This is an unusual feature for a pop-singer to include in an album, but in classic, careless Lana Del Rey fashion, she appeared to have recorded the event on her phone microphone, and the audience can hear her laugh and comment over the top of Judah Smith’s words. Nostalgic sadness and longing for simpler times are also prevalent themes in songs such as Fishtail. In the first verse, Lana alludes to playing with a skipping rope and watching palm trees swaying in the breeze as a child, then juxtaposes it with the complexity of her adult relationships, promoting a melancholic tone. Throughout the album, there are hidden ‘Easter Eggs’ with lyrics from her past songs that true Lana fans may be able to spot. I strongly recommend listening to this album. The lyrics are touching, the music is evocative, and the atmosphere created is truly special. I think this is one of Lana’s best albums, or at least the most truthful. Give this album a listen; you won’t regret it.