After the success of Born to Die and Paradise the LP, Lana is back with West Coast, a dark and moody musical game of cat and mouse. Playing both fast and loose Lana has decided to stick to what she does best, sing about unending love. Taking her fans on a musical ride, the track begins with Dan Auerbach’s sharp guitar riffs. the drums and the looping rhythms Lana is famous for.
In almost feverish passion Lana starts singing about how things are on the West Coast. Her love for the bad boys is evident. The song then progresses to the pre-chorus where Lana continues with lines off her Great Gatsby contribution, Young And Beautiful. The lyrics are simple, there is no word play here. Lana sure has stuck to her guns and chose to keep the album personal instead of dabbling in things that would ruin her image. Lana’s tracks would not really be her trademark ones if she did not include any of the musical tricks her producers have up their sleeves.
Whether it is the hip-hop beat of National Anthem or the frenzied Off To The Races, or the dark rendition of Once Upon A Dream, Lana seems to have taken a similar route this time too. By changing the bpm of the song in the chorus, Dan and Lana take you to the familiar drawl like persona Lana takes up on Million Dollar Man. The jazz singer of the 40’s is a persona seems to be something she takes to like a fish does water. Cue in the video she did for Burning Desire. Lana does throw her voice into a mix that sounds like a cross between a rock singer rocking it out to a jazz ensemble.
That is the perfect way to describe this song – a decent attempt at rock/jazz that falls under the indie group. The song is definitely in Lana’s lane. With some vocal acrobatics Lana shows that she can rock it out even with sombre tunes. The track is also distinctly Lana’s given the reference to the Parliament and the West Coast’s rock and roll gods, the queens of Saigons ( a reference to the Vietnam war) and starlets. The song also is an ode to Lana’s Cuban friends and Miami, with the reference to her love for crazy Cuban guys. Playing like a story, the song talks about the dark time in her life where liquor almost ruined her. The song feels like a cry in distress from a starlet who has lost her life to the hard ways of liquor and finds the will to get back up on her feet because the boy she loves lifts her up. Lana’s attempt at expressing her undying love for the bad boys sure get a huge thumbs up.
Check the Billboard, they seem to love her. The song is currently sitting at No. 17 on the charts, Lana’s love for the German music scene is evident from the leaked German radio edit of West Coast. Sounding like the earlier demo of Summertime Sadness, a musical masterpiece, West Coast has gotten an almost summery make over in terms of production. The song is stripped off Dan’s sharp guitar riffs and is replaced by an acoustic guitar and drums that seem like Lana’s a capella / demo has been placed over the music that has been redesigned to make it radio friendly. Del Rey wanted Ultraviolence to be dark, spiritual and almost unlistenable but the make over achieves exactly the opposite. The song is expected to move up the charts following the official release of this edit on May 30 of this year. A snippet of the monochrome video for West Coast complete with old men, cars and the West Coast staple Del Rey material may take it even higher in the charts! Everyone can hope that does the trick and hopefully she is out with a body of work with Ultraviolence, landing her the elusive Grammy this year.
By Rathan Paul Harshavardan