The traditional sound of summer music is light-hearted beats and catchy melodies. But this summer, a retro and slightly dark album has emerged as an instant hit.
Ultraviolence, Lana Del Rey’s latest and third album, sold 182,000 copies in the US during its first week (June 17 to 22), according to Nielsen SoundScan. It’s the largest album sale week for a female artist since Beyonce’s self-titled surprise album in December. It also became Del Rey’s first No 1 album on the Billboard 200 album chart.
Just about two years ago, when the 28-year-old US singer released her major-label debut album Born to Die, everything about her was the target of critics: her hip-hop-inflected baroque-pop music style, her awkward live performances, her background, and even her physical appearance.
As time went on and the outrage died down, somewhere in between the unexpected success of Summertime Sadness and the sweeping Great Gatsby theme Young & Beautiful last year, the people screaming “Lana Del Rey sucks” changed their tune. She was embraced — and even adored.
而随着时间的推移，媒体对她的各种诟病渐渐褪去，不知不觉间，她的单曲“Summertime Sadness”取得了出乎意料的成功，去年为电影《了不起的盖茨比》演唱的主题曲“Young & Beautiful”亦是横扫千军，那些高喊着“拉娜•德蕾逊爆了”的人们也一改论调。如今，拉娜•德蕾已经为人接受，甚至大受宠爱。
Ultraviolence is very much a response to all of that. It seems that the storm has passed, and now, Del Rey has something to say. It’s an album filled with a deep rage and a strong sense of sarcasm. The hip-hop beats and yelps in the distance, which colored her debut and the follow-up EP Paradise, have gone. Instead, the songs are more structurally complex, muted by a lo-fi vintage rock haze — a “fuzz”, according to Del Rey herself.
There are angry songs, such as Money, Power, Glory, mocking her imitators and knowingly feeding into her critics. There are also melancholic ones, for example, Shades of Cool and West Coast, in which she whines about her failed relationships, or describes the numbness of living in crowded and noisy cities.
这张专辑里不乏表达愤怒的歌曲，比如“Money, Power, Glory”，在这首歌里，德蕾嘲讽了那些模仿她的人，并且故意给评论家留下了话头；与此同时，也有忧郁的小调，比如，“Shades of Cool”与“West Coast”，在这两首歌里，德蕾为她失败的感情经历伤怀哀诉，并描绘了喧嚣、拥挤的大都市里麻木的生活。
You have to give her credit for making a rather cohesive album that works better when listened to as a whole. But what I admire her for the most is that, with her current popularity, Del Rey could have continued to make more accessible music, like her previous works, and become a mainstream and marketable pop singer. Instead, she has chosen a different path, and created this world of her own – a dark, twisted, yet intriguing fantasy.