blue-banisters-lana-del-rey-album-review

“Blue Banisters” - Lana Del Rey Album Review

Story posted October 28, 2021 in Arts & Entertainment by Jack Freiser .

Lana Del Rey is back with her eighth studio album and her second album of 2021. “Chemtrails Over the Country Club,” her first album of the year, is one of the standout albums of 2021.

The album showed a new side to the artist. Lana experimented with more folky sounds which worked beautifully with her voice.

However, “Blue Banisters” is a return to form for the artist going back to the ballads that made her a star.

“Blue Banisters” is a solid album, but does not match the level of her previous two albums “Norman F***ing Rockwell” and “Chemtrails Over the Country Club”

Lana sounds gorgeous as always, especially when she goes into her angelic falsetto which brings life to all of her songs.

Lana has an incredible range and throughout the album, she showcases her range and lets her voice be the star.

While this album has some standout tracks, most songs are a bit long and tend to leave the audience wanting more. “Text Book” is a perfect example of this.

Although Lana sounds excellent, the track is way too stagnant and the five-minute track feels endless at times.

Most tracks have a simple instrumental, either including a guitar or a piano. Compared to her last two albums the instrumentation is very low-key.

This works well on some certain tracks but also causes other tracks to be disinteresting, like in “Cherry Blossom” which is in desperate need of a beat switch or a grand final chorus, neither of which occur.

The most interesting production in this album is in the interlude. The production of this interlude is incredible. The western-inspired track is very different from the rest of the album.

If this was a full track that included vocals, it would be a clear standout from the album, however, instead, the interlude adds a flair needed to keep audiences alert for the remainder of the LP.

The album is written beautifully. The lyricism throughout the album brings life to lifeless instrumentals. The album is very raw and her lyrics are honest and filled with passion.

The album tells a beautiful story about love and heartbreak.

The best example of this evolution in lyricism is “Nectar of the Gods” an ethereal song in which Lana discusses her love life and Lana’s problems which we tend to keep out of the spotlight.

Lana also sounds magnificent on this track. Her upper register is one of the best in the industry and in this song it is front and center. The verses are filled with raw emotion and her voice is so smooth.

“If You Lie Down With Me” is one of the clear standouts of the album. This song is filled with incredible lyricism, but also includes an enchanting melody that can easily get in the heads of the audience.

Lana sounds gorgeous on the verses and the trumpet solo at the end is a perfect way to conclude the cinematic track. It is an incredible listen that adds a bit of momentum towards the middle of the album.

“Thunder” is the best track on the album and proof that Lana is still the ballad queen. Lana’s lyrics are simple, yet effective as she discusses the trials and tribulations of fame. Lana sounds incredibly delicate on the chorus, which is enhanced by the harmonies introduced in the second chorus.

The song also builds up to a grand final chorus in which Lana proves that she has a remarkable voice. Although the instrumental is simple, unlike some other tracks the simplicity works with the structure and message of the track.

While this is by no means a bad album, it is a bit underwhelming since her last two albums are incredible. While there aren’t many bad songs, some songs can be forgettable such as “Violets for Roses” and “Wildflower Wildfire” both songs have beautiful elements but leave the audience wanting more.

Overall, this is a solid album filled with beautiful ballads, but with mediocre instrumentation throughout the album, the album feels way longer than it is. Lana Del Rey is an incredible lyricist and vocalist but has produced way better albums.

Rating: 6/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Tracks: “Thunder”, “Nectar of the Gods”, and “ If You Lie Down With Me”

Reviewer’s Least Favorite Tracks: “Text Book” and “Cherry Blossoms”

Jack Freiser is a second-year majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email jef5614@psu.edu.