New Yorker native Lana finds her comfort zone on her Black Key, Dan Auerbach’s produced album. Gone are the hip-hop influences from her debut record, instead replaced with dreamy California tones.
Opener ‘Cruel World’ sets the mood, all modern Nancy Sinatra vocals with heavy reverb and slow piano based melodies. The ‘Clockwork Orange’ inspired title track ‘Ultraviolence’s’ chorus sounds like a Bond theme while lead single ‘West Coast’ echoes Stevie Nick’s cool California stoner feel.
Her troubled persona of ‘sad/bad girl with daddy issues’ is still strong here with ‘Brooklyn Baby’ and on the previously mentioned ‘Ultraviolence’ which refers to The Crystals controversial hit ‘He hit me and it felt like a kiss’.
‘Sad Girl’ (arguably the best track on the album) keeps the jazzy feel of The Great Gatsby soundtrack song ‘Young and Beautiful’ while ‘Money Power Glory’ could have easily been the theme song for Mad Men. Her cover of Nina Simone’s ‘The Other Woman’ is femme-fatale Lana at her best, cinematic and heartbreaking she takes you into another world of Americana nostalgia.
Tracks like ‘Shades of cool’ and ‘Black Beauty’ are perhaps are a little too sleepy, leaving you waiting for a climax that never happens, while the orchestration and heavy beats from previous album ‘Born To Die’ are missed in the mix. What Lana does deliver, she does well, but the lack of variety becomes exposed when listening to the whole record in one go.
Read our original interview with Lana (just as she was breaking through) HERE</strong>