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Lana Del Rey Ultraviolence Polydor

It wasn’t until everything felt so right on Ultraviolence that the missteps of 2012’s Born To Die became so clear.

Lana Del Rey’s debut was a high-definition spectacular, where heartache was stretched out of shape for the sake of a deluxe edition and the nuances of her dreamt up persona were hard to find because ASAP Rocky was in the music video. By working so hard on trying to sound abandoned, Del Rey ended up sounding like half the industry was rooting for her.

No such mistakes are made on Ultraviolence. The anguished falsetto on the chorus of Money Power Glory arrives with no armour. The lovesick wooziness of The Other Woman tells the story of the defeated rather than the saga of the fight. On Born To Die, desolation was the subject matter, but on Ultraviolence it is the method. This record is stark, isolated and at times unnervingly frozen. No track embodies this palpable hopelessness quite like Pretty When You Cry as Del Rey sings “I’ll wait for you babe / It’s all I do babe”, swinging her voice and hanging onto the luxurious production by a thread. Loneliness sounds good when you’re fighting against it, but it sounds totally devastating when you decide to let it stay.