Lana Del Rey’s second album,Ultraviolence, sees Lizzy Grant’s character coming full circle. While generally well received, her 2012 debutBorn To Diestruggled to balance the establishment of the persona she was trying to project with earning her a viable place as a contemporary pop singer.
The concept of fictionalising one’s name, background, values and identity is as old as any form of entertainment, yet Del Rey still poses a challenge to many about her place in music.
Ultraviolence runs with her trademarks of lost love, abuse and the romanticism of death through a filter of cynicism and regret. With the playful nature of previous singles ‘Off To The Races’ and ‘Video Games’ forgone, a refined, sombre mood carries the album asher most defining and realised work to date. The frankly awkward hip hop vibe that came through on parts of Born To Die has wisely been left behind. In the landscape of not only pop music, but the noir-ish nostalgia-ridden universe she has developed, Del Rey sits alone in her own world.
With no real competitors or rivals, the Lana Del Rey concept of a starlet surviving alone in a world of romanticised violence and abuse is as convincing, and ultimately entertaining, as any.