After a gorgeous 30 second orchestral instrumental “We both know that it’s not fashionable to love me”, are the first words declared by Del Rey on the opener – the album titled song Honeymoon. At this point we are unsure as to whom Del Rey is addressing; perhaps it’s cynical reviewers about her music? Or maybe it’s towards a reluctant lover? The one thing that is immediate to listeners, however, is the mysterious quality Del Rey’s music has become admired for – that dark persona is present in this album. But unlike her 2014 release Ultraviolence, Del Rey no longer sounds easily susceptible and vulnerable. Instead throughout Honeymoon’s luxurious and intoxicating 13 tracks, whether addressing subjects of loss, pain or elation Del Rey appears chillingly nonchalant.
The love and influence for jazz and blues music that Del Rey has dabbled with before can be heard more clearly and confidently than ever. In the dreamy and heartfelt ballad, Terrance Loves You Del Rey croons about the loss of a partner behind a soothing saxophone and an accompanying trumpet – this is Del Rey in her element.
At this point, three albums in, fans and critics alike know it is imperative for a Del Rey record to feature a distinct tone of sensuality, and Honeymoon does not disappoint. Now Del Rey’s sensual side is understatedly unravelled on songs like the slow jam Freak and the sultry Art Deco. On Music To Watch Boys To the ethereal production unites with Del Rey’s angelic voice creating the sort of song you could picture Charlie's Angel Farrah Fawcett dancing to if she was a belly dancer in a former life??
When comparing Honeymoon to her previous records (Born To Die, Paradise and Ultraviolence), Del Rey has stated herself “It's very different from the last one and similar to the first two”. Perhaps the most obvious reason behind this is because Honeymoon marks the return of producer Rick Nowels who co-produced all of Born To Die and all of Honeymoon too. However, Del Rey’s sincere voice and personal lyrics are at the cornerstone of the album now, contrasting with Born To Die, which was criticised for the production overshadowing her.
But Del Rey refuses to be overshadowed by anything this time around; she’s the main magnetism. Even closing with a cover of jazz icon; Nina Simone’s Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood doesn’t seem to faze her, as she breathes life into the song creating a refreshing and distinctive duplicate. Concluding into what sounds like Del Rey’s purest and most authentic album to date.
Recommended songs: Honeymoon, God Knows I Tried, High By The Beach, Freak, Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, 24