Lana Del Rey — Florida Kilos

I needed a couple weeks to chew on Lana Del Rey’s latest album, Ultraviolence. Back in April, I posted about how I was a little underwhelmed by “West Coast”, and expressed my concerns and optimism for the new direction she seemed to be headed. After hearing the album, I guess I can say it was both exactly what I hoped for and exactly what I was afraid of.

The album ran amok in all the ways I expected. The chorus on “Sad Girl” features Lana literally repeating “I’m a sad girl” over and over again. “Pretty When You Cry” is exactly what that title sounds like. There’s an incredible amount of melodramatic sappiness on the album.

Additionally, the intro track is over six and half minutes of stuck-in-the-mud wailing. In fact, overkill is a downfall of this album. I feel like most of my least favorite songs suffered from being entirely too long. The lows on Ultraviolence are drenched in overindulgence.

All is not lost. The album hit a few high points, and I felt they were fantastic. “Money Power Glory” felt very familiar to fans of 2012’s Born To Die. The radio mix of “West Coast” is fantastic, and fixes a lot of issues I had with the original. Bonus track “Black Beauty” seemed to succeed in much of what the album was aiming for, finding a perfect balance of melancholy while maintaining engaging production and lyrics.

My favorite is another bonus track, “Florida Kilos”. When I wrote about my expectations for this album in April, I said that I felt the surf rock aesthetic could work. This song is what I was hoping for.

Featuring perfect guitars and a flawlessly nostalgic beach vibe, “Florida Kilos” is everything this album could’ve been. It’s perfectly summer, and perfectly Florida. If Miami Vice were set in the 60’s, this would be the theme song. Given the content, it doesn’t come as a total shock that Spring Breakers director Harmony Korine is a co-writer. This one falls in his wheelhouse.

And give Dan Auerbach his props for the production side. I questioned his ability to produce for Lana, but he hit this one out of the park.