Arts & Culture
Below Ocean Blvd and into the Mind: Del Rey Guides Us Through Her World on Latest Album
“When you’re good, it’s gold,” Lana Del Rey reminds us on the track “Margaret” from her ninth studio album Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, released on Friday, March 24. The singer-songwriter Del Rey’s ability to convert singular, diaristic stories into beautiful folk-pop melodies — and some surprise hip-hop-influenced tracks harkening back to her Born to Die era — underwrites this proposition: When Lana is good, emotionally and spiritually, she’s gold.
Del Rey’s early albums, too, felt like a storybook, but one that was ultimately a deliberate creation. Listeners became accustomed to her tales of “facin’ time again at Rikers Island” in Born to Die (2012) and “dying by the hands of a foreign man” on Honeymoon (2015). Yet, since her critically acclaimed 2019 album Norman F*****g Rockwell, there has increasingly been a convergence between “Lana Del Rey” and Elizabeth (Lizzy) Grant, the real life New York-raised artist who caught fame at the dawn of the Instagram era.
Her latest release marks their long-awaited unification. She directly addresses her now decade-long struggle of managing both the public’s and her own perception of herself on tracks such as “A&W” and “Grandfather Please Stand on the Shoulders of my Father While He’s Deep-Sea Fishing” (yes, that’s the full title).