Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd: My Honest Review
Lana del Rey has long been a favorite artist of many listeners that frequent Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain — her music’s tragic tones more often than not create this association. With her becoming a household name along with these musicians, it is no wonder that her newest album received the biggest debut of her career, with 18.3 million streams on Spotify.
After listening to this album the day it came out, I would concur with many listeners who say that it was one of her best albums released to date. It is no wonder that 98% of users that listened to her album liked it, with positive reviews flooding everywhere.
This album, unlike many of her others, featured many new collaborations, bringing fans to the conclusion that Lana has “entered a new era.”
Father John Misty, SYML, RIOPY, John Batiste, and even the preacher Judah Smith all have features on this stunning album. Their features cover complex topics such as mortality, love, loneliness, and womanhood within itself as well. From gospel to trap, the genres of music, as per usual, were extremely versatile.
This brilliant album had a length of over 1 hour and 15 minutes, and it was not easy choosing the best 5 songs that encapsulated the soul of DYKTTATUOB — however, it was possible.
“A&W” might be the very first song I would recommend anyone listen to, as no matter how many times I listen to it, it manages to amaze me every single time. This might be an acquired taste to many new Lana listeners, but as a seasoned veteran I would say that this song is definitely worth a listen. The beat change of the music from an instrumental middle to trap is so effortlessly amazing. The song follows themes of growing up in this world as a woman unloved by everyone from society to her own mother. Lana stays true to the themes she has been writing about ever since she started making music.
Once done listening to “A & W” I would encourage readers to take [another] listen to “The Grants,” one of her most popular songs on the album, and for good reason. This dazzling song evokes a feeling of nostalgia in listeners as it describes the memories she has left behind. This beautiful opener to the album is like flipping through the storybook of Lana’s life, and I can comfortably say that it is one of Lana’s most touching songs ever, that might just leave you in the deep sense of nostalgia akin to “Scott Street” by Phoebe Bridgers.
Next, I would have to recommend “Paris, Texas” which is a track featuring SYML. It is not a traditional Lana song, and I would go as far as saying she has not written anything like it thus far. The song touches on all the small towns that have other more famous counterparts; Florence, Alabama; Venice, California; and of course, Paris, Texas. These small towns are meant to represent the feeling of constant uneasiness and indecisiveness — never being able to choose where to go, simply floating like a log on a river.
Next, I suggest “Fingertips,” which is a six-minute track of Lana’s herself, whose songwriting is unparalleled. This song represents many themes, but as Lana said herself, she meant for this song to explain everything. She needed a song that was simply like a diary entry for her, and it is read as such. She talks about her close family and themes of motherhood, but even goes as far as to explain how she feels when her songs are misinterpreted.
It would not be a proper review without mentioning the last track on her album, “Taco Truck X VB”. This song is perfection, and without a doubt my favorite on the album. This song’s lyrics are able to perfectly portray a picture of the American uneasiness that many seem to feel, taking feelings from our daily lives and putting them into a song. From when she says that she “Met her boyfriend down by the taco truck,” to the last moments of the song where she talks about the fact that “I know, I know, I know you hate me,” this song blends the themes of everything Lana promises to write about with the fact that Ocean Blvd proves to be her most self-mythologizing album yet. The finality of this song is beautiful, and an amazing closer to a near-perfect album.
Horn, O. (n.d.). Lana Del Rey: Did you know that there's a tunnel under Ocean Blvd. Pitchfork. Retrieved April 18, 2023, from https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/lana-del-rey-did-you-know-that-theres-a-tunnel-under-ocean-blvd/