Posted in Album Reviews

Lana Del Rey – Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd (2023)

For her ninth studio album, Did You Know There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, Lana Del Rey enlists a slew of co-producers and collaborators. Clocking in at a Metallica like 77 minutes, the 16 songs average close to 5 minutes in length.  Second single “A&W” uses pulses for beats on a track that stands for American Whore. Not the easiest listen where Lana sings “It’s not about havin’ someone to love me anymore” and later “I’m invisible, I’m invisible”.   The song then ups the beats and segues into “jimmy jimmy cocoa puff”.  Lana uses a similar trick later on album closer “Taco Truck x VB” that adds demo version verses from earlier single “Venice Bitch”.

The album is dominated by slower songs like the muffled drumbeat of the title track.  “Candy Necklace” sees Lana mumbling over a piano bed. The songs on the second half of the album vary a bit more such as the atmospheric “Paris, Texas” that sees Lana’s voice rise and fall with the piano.  “Grandfather Please Stand on the Shoulders of My Father While He’s Deep Sea Fishing” is a touching, personal moment about family. Father John Misty appears as a paramour on “Let the Light In” before Canadian rapper Tommy Genesis provides a bounce as she raps “hands on your knees/I’m Angelina Jolie” on the relatively energetic “Peppers”.

With 16 songs to make it through, Did You Know is a long listen.  Many tracks are minimal, with a small number of memorable moments. The album includes two lengthy interludes, the first from celebrity pastor Judah Smith and the second from Grammy winner Jon Batiste that sounds like they were having fun.  The minimal approach may have worked better on a shorter album but here, it contains several skippable moments.