Average User Score: 8.8Jul 15, 2014A fantastic album that encompasses such grand themes and lyricism that far outdo the competition today. An absolute masterpiece; lyrically, musically, thematically, and although vocally it isn't outstanding, that's almost the point... like the themes in their songs; nothing is perfect.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.4Jun 17, 2014Upon first listen, Ultraviolence is a complete musical departure from her debut. Produced by Dan Aurebach of The Black Keys, Ultraviolence has replaced the bombastic string and melodramatic orchestral climaxes with understated, pulsing guitar riffs, echoing drums and various layers of Del Rey’s now totally confident and poised vocals. The album opener, ‘Cruel World’ sets the tone for the rest of the record; a slow burning song featuring purposely-imperfect vocals that forces the listener to experience the hurt and dystopian world that Del Rey does. This is nothing new – Born To Die provided the same offering – however the subdued tone of Ultraviolence is much more fitting with its oppressed and dark thematic nature.
Elsewhere, lead single, ‘West Coast’ provides a relatively upbeat and gritty sound in comparison to the rest of the album, and ‘Money Power Glory’ showcases Del Rey’s unique and astounding vocal range. ‘F***** My Way To the Top’ demonstrates that – unlike Born To Die – less is more, with Del Rey’s silk-like vocals floating above a pulsing beat and faint guitar strums. ‘Old Money’ is the most Lana Del Rey song that Lana Del Rey has ever made; an absolutely stunning ode 1960s America with herself reminiscing the “sunset, small towns… red racing cars”, and ‘Flipside’, a slow-burning Western-influenced track which – had it been around during the 90s – would have been perfect for the epic yet tragic final scene of Thelma & Louise.
The album is not without its flaws, however; Del Rey’s cover of ‘The Other Woman’ doesn’t fit whatsoever with the atmosphere the rest of the album has conjured up until that closing track, and provides an incredibly underwhelmed finish to an album that sounded well thought out. Some of the lyrics are questionable and grow irritating, such as Del Rey repeating "dope and diamonds" sixteen - yes, sixteen - times during 'Money Power Glory', and there are certain tracks that beg for more of a climax than they are given.
Ultraviolence, then, is an overall winner; the stripped-back, low-key and understated burning progressions of the songs create an intense, unique and totally encapsulating experience. Whilst there are missteps, it is a massive step forward for an artist that is consistently panned for being a one-time act.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.7May 14, 2013A brilliantly thought out and meticulously detailed and executed album. From beginning to end, Vampire Weekend never cease to impress with perfectly crafted songs, taking you through a calming yet exhilarating album; definitely their best effort.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.5Nov 16, 2012'Born To Die' was probably one of the most misinterpreted albums of 2012. Lana's 'Paradise EP' fares slightly better judgment, due to the brilliant productions of the songs and beautiful trademark vocals. 'Paradise' features longer, more swooping ballads than on 'Born To Die', which Lana wallows in. Although the lyrics are still reasonably questionable, the overall production of the album is much more cohesive than 'Born To Die'. Lana's vocals sound more rich; there's actual emotion to be felt in the songs this time. Although lengthy, the songs create the sense of Hollywood sadcore and the depressing reality of the American Dream that she is aiming for.… Expand