Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd?

Lana Del Rey’s new album: a discussion and review


On Friday, March 24, Lana Del Rey released her ninth studio album titled “Did you know that  there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd,” inspired by the historic, ornate tunnel hidden and blocked beneath Ocean Blvd and its metaphorical nature. The album’s release was highly anticipated by me, being a big fan of Lana and her music. Perhaps you’ve taken a listen, as I know Lana has pushed promotion for this album to an extent not seen since NFR (her 6th album, released 2019). In any case, stay tuned for my review of the new album, favorite albums ranking, and some discussion.

The tunnel under Ocean Blvd

Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd Review








It’s important to note that album first impressions are always completely different from final thoughts, after a little while or so when it’s had time to marinate. The album has been out about a week or so now, so this is somewhat of a first impressions review. The first time I listened, I listened to it all the way through in one sitting, for the sake of a true initial review. Of the singles released prior to the album’s release, “A&W” and “The Grants” held up as two of my favorites in the long run. A&W shook up the fanbase with a new, unique sound and the resurgence of trap beats to Lana’s music, after 2 albums of predominantly piano ballads (which I personally love – we will get into that later). The song is truly a masterpiece and characterizes this new era for her, I think. While it’s not my #1 from the album, it was a perfect introduction and a new playlist staple. The Grants is a gorgeous, heavenly song, which is not as widely loved as A&W, but one of my favorites. It is a culmination of gospel tones and instrumentals, introducing a sort of religious tone I see as a recurring theme in the album. I think it is most showcased in “Sweet,” another heavenly song I immediately noted as a favorite upon my initial listen. It feels like a church song in the best way. I suppose I should also note the other released single, following the album’s title “Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd.” This song is gorgeous, and makes me cry. However, it’s not my favorite. What is my favorite? From the jump, “Let The Light In” featuring Father John Misty. This song is one of my new favorites ever, it evokes a feeling so sweet and reflective. My friend and fellow senior Will Siegling and I have been vouching for a Lana Del Rey x Father John Misty joint album, which I stand by as a 10/10 idea which would make my life 10 times better. My other favorites as of now are “Paris, Texas,” “Fishtail,” “Fingertips,” and “Margaret.” Paris, Texas is such a notable song from the album and probably my #2 favorite. If I had to recommend one song to listen to I think it would be this one. I saw a TikTok video saying this song was reminiscent of the Coraline movie. If you know me, you know that’s my favorite movie, so it’s fitting I would like it. Let’s talk about the interludes. I believe there was some controversy around them, but I personally think they were a good addition to the album to add cohesion and meaning. I wouldn’t add them to my playlist, but they’re interludes, so that doesn’t have to be the point. I very much support the addition of certain tracks for the sake of the artistic composition of the album as a whole. “Peppers” feat. Tommy Genesis is another notable track from the album, a whole upbeat song with a rap feature. I really like this song and what it adds to the album. Not really sure why they chose to center it around Angelina Jolie but not complaining either. “Taco Truck x VB” is another track that shook up the fanbase, being a more grungy rendition of the already released track “Venice B*tch” from her NFR album. I love this track a lot too (the original is still my favorite though unfortunately, at least for now). 3 tracks remain left to be discussed: “Grandfather please stand on the shoulders of my father while he’s deep sea fishing,” “Candy Necklace,” and “Kintsugi.” These are the ones I did not initially love/add to my playlist, so they’re the ones I’ve listened to the least. However, oftentimes the songs I don’t love from the jump become some of my favorites later, so who knows. Let me take another listen actually and come back. –

Ok I’m back. I added Kintsugi and GPSOTSOMFWHDSF to my playlist, I actually love them. Now time for my overall review. Very very good 10/10 honestly. I have no idea how I would rank it with all of her albums, though. Time to see…


Albums Ranked

  1. Ultraviolence
  2. Norman F****** Rockwell!
  3. Honeymoon
  4. Chemtrails Over The Country Club
  5. Lust For Life 
  6. Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd 
  7. Blue Banisters
  8. Born To Die 
  9. Paradise 

Ok this was actually really hard. It’s also definitely subject to change. But as of this moment, I believe this is my ranking of all 9 albums. However, I do not dislike a single one by any means. Even the lowest album on this list is one of my all time favorites. Paradise and Born To Die have found their way to the bottom of my list, surprisingly. I absolutely adore these albums, however I feel like I only keep a few songs from them in my rotation, and they simply just don’t compare to the others. Perhaps it’s that I’ve outgrown them a bit, the lyrics being very similar to the rest of her body of work but still distinct due to a different level of maturity. Blue Banisters being this low makes me so sad because I love this album and I need to convey that. I genuinely have found some of my favorite songs ever on that album, such as “Dealer,” “Thunder,” “Arcadia,” “Black Bathing Suit,” etc. This album received a lot of critical backlash and fans annoyed about all of the piano ballads, which is insane to me because the album is so beautiful and amazing – but I have to stress my ranking is relative. Next, the new album, which I think we’ve discussed enough. Lust For Life next, which I contemplated putting under TUOB, but ultimately I think this album is more important to me (at least for now). The themes of this album are so liberating and the songs are so good (mostly). It also contains the best collab of all time, “Summer Bummer” featuring ASAP Rocky and Playboi Carti (only she could get Playboi Carti and Stevie Nicks on the same album).  For the record, spots 5, 6, and 7 are usually interchangable here. Next up is Chemtrails Over The Country Club. This album is so so so good, I would not put it any lower. I believe there was also critical backlash for this album, which I cannot understand. This album contains an almost no-skip tracklist with some of the most touching instrumentals and lyrics I’ve ever heard. I can’t stress how important it is to listen to the songs all the way through, though, because the best parts come from the buildup within the songs and the bridges. The title track, “Wild At Heart,” “Not All Who Wander Are Lost,” “Dance Till We Die,” “Tulsa Jesus Freak,” “Dark But Just A Game,” and I could go on. Simply art. Now, my big 3. I don’t see these changing anytime soon. Honeymoon, Norman F****** Rockwell!, and Ultraviolence: my “holy trinity.” Honeymoon is just cemented as one of her absolute best bodies of work, containing songs I can’t see anything ever comparing to. The title track, “High By The Beach,” “Art Deco,” and almost every other track are just so special and create the most intoxicating composition of music. NFR and Ultraviolence continually switch places as #1 and #2 for me. They both have 1 single skip in each of their entire compositions, which I will not name but perhaps you could guess. NFR habitually becomes my #1 in the summertime, it is an album with so little flaws and such amazing music that I can’t even believe it. The way she is able to convey such a specific and saturated atmosphere with the music is honestly unusually impressive. I will never, ever forget or forgive the Academy for absolutely robbing her of Album Of The Year at the 2020 Grammys. I truly believe they need to go back on it, apologize, and award the true winner, because this is the album of the decade. In addition, Ultraviolence is an untouchable album to me. I can’t see myself ever not considering it my favorite. The guitars alone make it 11/10. 


In Other News

In other news, it came out this last week that Lana reportedly got engaged to a man named Evan Winiker. This had the fanbase astir. I’m skeptical because I feel like she gets “reportedly engaged” every 6 months. However, she did just do a wedding dress shoot for Interview Magazine which could be a hint, but it also could just be Lana. Though, she has been outward about how she’s entered a long awaited period of happiness, exclaiming during her acceptance speech of the 2023 Billboard Women in Music Visionary Award that “being happy is the ultimate goal, so I did it.” Perhaps she’s found love which has made her happy, or perhaps she found it on her own, or perhaps both. Either way, her happiness is inspiring, and I’m so excited about this new era.


In Conclusion

  • Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd is a 10/10 body of work
  • Let The Light In is my favorite new track
  • NFR is still her best album, and Ultraviolence is my favorite album. 
  • Chemtrails Over The Country Club and Blue Banisters are criminally underrated.
  • The Academy is due for a recall of the 2020 Grammys. 
  • A Lana Del Rey x Father John Misty joint album is necessary! 
  • Happiness is in the air ♡