Lana Del Rey – Paradise

November 8, 2012 at 12:17 PM | Posted in Lana Del Rey | Leave a comment

ALBUM REVIEW
Lana Del Rey – Paradise

1. Ride
2. American
3. Cola (Pussy)
4. Body Electric
5. Blue Velvet
6. Gods & Monsters
7. Yayo
8. Bel Air

♦ ♦ ♦

Paradise is the third EP released by American singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey on November 9, 2012. The album is a standalone EP as well as part of a reissue of Lana’s second album Born To Die, released earlier this year.

I always think it’s pretty strange to open an album with a ballad, but since it’s Lana Del Rey (who released ballads most of the time) I’ll forgive her for the fact that Ride is that kind of ballad. It starts off pretty slow and mellow with Lana’s low and sultry vocals, accompanied by strings and a piano-driven melody. The chorus tends to be a little more lively with some percussion dropping and Lana Del Rey’s amazing layered vocals in the background. It’s also the highlight of the entire song, and I’m suprised by the fact that it’s such a mysterious and yet appealing song.

American is the next ballad on the EP, and another string-drenched track. It’s very much in the style of songs on the Born To Die album, and almost like a hybrid of the tracks Born To Die and Blue Jeans. The strings and heavy echoed percussion make the song a little foreboding and mysterious again, but most of the time that’s exactly what I love about Lana’s music. It’s another perfect example of both Lana’s amazing songwriting and style.

Now, the song that has received the most controversial attention of all: Cola. I understand why it’s so controversial, since it opens with the lyric ‘My pussy tastes like Pepsi Cola‘, aherm. Other than that, the song is pretty normal if you ask me and maybe a bit on the boring side. I hear too much resemblance to some of her other song so no, this one doesn’t really do anything for me.

Fourth ballad in a row, wow. Body Electric is a reference to Walt Whitman’s poem ‘I Sing The Body Electric’, since Lana sited him as her biggest inspiration for songwriting. It’s another one of those typical foreboding Lana songs with deep and echoed percussion and dramatic strings, along with Lana’s higher pitched vocals. Other than that epic feel, it’s another song that doesn’t come off as original to me.

Blue Velvet was the promotional song for her H&M clothing line as well as the entire EP, and it’s also a cover of the 1950’s Bobby Vinton song. It’s clear that the original is a pretty old song and Lana definitely left that nostalgic ambience intact in her interpretation of the song. It’s like a dedication to the old times of James Dean, and it fits Lana’s overall style pretty well. It’s a bummer that it’s such a short song, since it’s very enjoyable.

With Gods & Monsters, Lana gives the album an edgier touch and more of a punch. Mostly that’s because of the deep drums, but the rest of the track is the same old piano-driven and string heavy kind. Sadly the only thing I remember about the song after listening to it is that same dreary arrangement and the lyric ‘Fuck yeah, give it to me‘. As for the rest… nah.

So we welcome back Yayo for the third time. It has the same ambience that Blue Velvet had, and I don’t know if Lana drew some inspiration from the 1950s and 60s for this song but it definitely sounds like that. As if she’s singing through one of those old-fashioned microphones, very vintage. It’s definitely a special song and if I don’t pay attention to the fact that it’s featured on a sort of ballad-only album, it’s actually a darned good and nostalgic track.

Bel Air is the last song on this EP and it definitely starts a lot fresher with its piano melody opening. It has the most original sound of all the songs on this EP, after all the foreboding and mysterious (and vintage) tracks, this is one that reminds more of a broader perspective. It’s like a breath of fresh air, just in time, and when compared to the other songs it’s almost angelic. Yep, Lana did a good job on this one.

I had hoped I would be more enthousiastic about Paradise since I have come to adore her Born To Die album, and since this is part of the reissue I hoped it would feature some of those heavier R&B/hiphop inspired tracks as well. Since this EP is ballad-only, that’s my first disappointment. The second one is that the album tends to drag after a couple of those tracks. I know Lana stans are gonna kill me for this, but sorry, it’s my own opinion. To emphasize the positive side of this album: there were some tracks that I absolutely love as well! Ride and American were perfect, I wish the album had more of those tracks. So, I’m gonna be mild in my opinion.

Favorite songs: Ride | American | Blue Velvet | Bel Air

OVERALL RATING

3 stars

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