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Did You Know There Is A Tunnel Under Ocean Boulevard?

Lana Del Rey's most recent album was released on March 24.

May 25, 2023


Student listening to Lana Del Rey taken by Oshe Eliapo

When I was little, I got addicted to Lana Del Rey after hearing “Summertime Sadness” in the car once. After that, all you’d hear was Del Rey’s vocals blasting in my room. I gained an appreciation for her music and grew obsessed. After hearing her latest album, Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd , anyone would be crazy to not be infatuated with it. 

The album is introduced by her first track, “The Grants” which was originally released as a stand-alone on March 14, ten days before the whole album followed.  The track begins with vocals from Melodye Perry, Pattie Howard and Shikena Jones doing a repetition of the phrase “I’m gonna take mine of you with me.”. When listening to it at first I was a little confused because I didn’t know what to expect. But when I got deeper into the song, I found the beauty of her lyrics describing keeping a passed loved one’s memory. She describes a list, “My sister’s firstborn child/ I’m gonna take that too with me/ My grandmother’s last smile/ I’m gonna take that too with me.”. 

The title track, “Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd,” is the second song of the album. It was released as a single on Dec. 7, 2022. You may want to have an open tab for Google. After doing research and reading reviews, I have found out that the tunnel Del Rey is speaking of, is the Jergins Tunnel in Long Beach, C.A. The tunnel was open to the community from 1928 to 1967. According to Auralcrave , the lyrics of the song are about how the tunnel has been long forgotten by the world over the years. Del Rey expresses fear that the same thing will happen to her with the lyric “When’s it gonna be my turn?”. This song has so many hidden meanings and clues but I’ll leave that for you to figure out. 

The third track, ¨Sweet¨, contains romantic piano keys as Lana riffs her chorus lyric “sweet”. Its beyond angelic. Del Rey appears to be examining how her romantic partner sees her. She dives deeper into their relationship as she sings “Lately we’ve been making out, a lot/ Not talking ‘bout the stuff that’s at the very heart of things/ Do you want children?/ Do you wanna marry me?” While the physical aspect of the relationship is present, Del Rey seems unsure that this person wants her for who she is, and wants an actual future with her.

A&W” is a 7 minute track that explains the topics of being referred to as an “American Whore”. “I mean, look at me/ Look at the length of my hair, and my face, the shape of my body/Do you really think I give a damn/ What I do after years of just hearing them talking?”. In 2022, Del Rey got backlash over her body weight and looks post-covid. Among the detested views, she was also criticized for her style in photographs – where she was described as “awful.”. 

Honestly, I’m not a fan of Judah Smith, due to the fact he’s an anti-abortion and homophobic pastor, and the entirety of “Judah Smith Interlude” was a joke. Myself and Del Rey’s fanbase was not raving about the amount of time Lana had given the track. You’d have to be doing some sort of self punishment to listen to an angry man scream for 4 minutes. Whilst talking about God  all-powerful being, Del Rey mumbles, “yeah, yeah” with a sharp, winking sarcasm. Other times, she can’t help but hold back her unfavorable taste for Smith’s cringy preaching. When Smith refers to God as the “rhino designer,” Del Rey and her friends chuckle and jokingly question, “rhino designer?” 

Candy Necklace ” is my absolute favorite  on the album. It shows raw and truthful parts of a relationship no one talks about. Del Rey is fully hypnotized by his candy necklaces – a superficial expression of love. It doesn’t matter that he’s “restless” and “bringing [her] down”, that he’s toxic. Because she’s  and “feeling super suicidal”, she can’t help but stay in the relationship and cling to any form of affection – even if it’s just candy necklaces.

Jon Batiste Interlude”, the seventh track on the playlist, is actually Jon Batiste’s second contribution to Del Rey’s album. He’s also the featured artist on “Candy Necklace“, the song that comes before the interlude. Batiste’s spoken-word lyrics on this track read a lot like if a preacher were to drop a love song. The vocalist goes about celebrating a “feeling” he is experiencing in what can be deemed as an euphoric drug like feeling. He never specifies what that feeling actually is though. He does, at the end, proclaim it “sweet honey”. And Lana’s limited vocal contribution also revolves around calling herself Batiste’s “honey”, a term that’s generally used to have a romantic connotation.  

Track eight, “Kintsugi,” is referring to the Japanese art of fixing pottery with gold. Del Rey sings about how even though she is broken, it is actually a good thing, with the lyrics “It’s just that I don’t trust myself with my heart/ But I’ve had to let it break a little more/ ‘Cause they say that’s what it’s for/ That’s how the light shines in.” The picture that Del Rey paints is beautiful, especially because of how pretty gold is when shining in the light.

I spent my childhood with Del Rey in my headphones, I can proudly say even after this album, that doesn’t change. The rest of the album is beyond jaw dropping and so worth the listen.

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