Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence (Interscope)

Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence (Interscope)

A blues-rock doof like lead Black Key Dan Auerbach should not be the person to push downcast pinup queen Lana Del Rey to become her greatest self, and yet here we are. As producer, Auerbach has given LDR’s songs an amber torch-song glow. Now that she’s had a couple of years to figure out her character, LDR is on fire, turning sex into power and danger into glamor, going hard on old-Hollywood stereotypes and making them new. As a writer, she’s pushing buttons we might not have known we had, playing a dark heartbreaker who’s self-destructive and loving it. When she ends things by covering Nina Simone’s “The Other Woman,” she’s sending us a message, casting herself within a proud player-queen tradition. –Tom [LISTEN]

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