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Lana Del Rey sings about sex, love and self-destruction in her latest full-length album.

MOVE reviews Lana Del Rey’s “Ultraviolence.”

By Claudia Guthrie | June 21, 2014

Tags: Music Reviews

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Turn on the radio and you’ll be bombarded with a never-ending stream of synthesized pop music — Iggy Azalea, Ariana Grande and Jason Derulo, just to name a few. These artists are happy, they pump you up, and they give you something to put on your Spotify party playlist so you can dance the night away.

And then there’s Lana Del Rey, who is changing the archetype of pop music with her second full-length album, “Ultraviolence.”

Del Rey has moved away from her poppy, almost hip-hop sound that was so present in her 2012 debut, “Born to Die.” “Ultraviolence” is old-timey, retrograde and tragic. Her strongly autobiographical lyrics touch on being swept away by love, sex and self-destruction.

“Shared my body and my mind with you, that’s all over now,” Del Rey sings in her characteristic sultry, breathy vocals in the album’s opening track, “Cruel World.” The somber mood goes on to extend throughout the album in songs such as “Pretty When You Cry” and “Sad Girl.”

Del Rey has never been one to beat around the bush. Her subject material is nostalgic and dark, with lyrics like “He hurt me but it felt like true love,” and “Don’t say you need me when you leave and you leave again; I’m stronger than all my men, except for you.”

After withstanding overwhelming criticism early in her career of people calling her a fraud, a creation and anti-feminist, this unconventional pop singer has proven that she is here to stay. With her old-school sound and hauntingly beautiful voice, “Ultraviolence” is the album Lana Del Rey was born to make.

MOVE gives “Ultraviolence” 4 out of 5 stars.

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