Lana Del Rey’s Ultraviolence: Just Try To Enjoy The Show

We may never know who Lana Del Rey really is -- but that's not the point.

When you first push “play” on Lana Del Rey’s sophomore record, Ultraviolence, I urge you to do the following: Close your eyes. Picture yourself in a darkened movie theater, the projector flickering to life — the screen filled with a young actress who employs the Meisner method at times, but who’s an actress all the same.

And I urge you to refrain from pointing your finger and yelling, “Fraud!” Because, when it comes to the art world, who ever promised you truth?

Lana Del Rey is a storyteller of the highest order. She’s Andy Kaufman — with plump lips and cascading hair. And there’s nothing, readers, wrong with that. On the Dan Auerbach-produced Ultraviolence — and the rest of her recordings — she’s doing what many musicians have done before her: She’s taking on a character, or characters. And she’s using those characters to tell stories of love and loss that may be true — and may be just that: stories.

Throughout the track list of Ultraviolence, Del Rey dons and discards personas like a kid playing dress-up. On the dark, twangy opener “Cruel World,” she’s preening, lollipop-licking Lana — a “mess” with her “little red party dress on,” eating candy and singing almost menacingly about a former lover: “I got your bible and your gun … And I’m so happy now that you’re gone.”

Then, on the title track, “Ultraviolence,” some of the bravado chips away as she sings about a man named Jim who may or may not be the leader of a cult she once joined and quit in New York, according to an interview with The New York Times.

Embedded from www.youtube.com.