Lana Del Rey ‘Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd’ reviews: It’s an ‘inscrutable’ portrait of the artist
Lana Del Rey dropped her ninth studio album on March 24. Called “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd.,” it’s produced by Del Rey herself along with Mike Hermosa, Jack Antonoff, Drew Erickson, Zach Dawes, and Benji. But what do critics think of the 77-minute collection of songs behind that verbose title?
As of this writing “Did You Know” has a MetaCritic score of 80 based on 13 reviews counted thus far: 11 reviews are classified as positive, and two are somewhat mixed, but none are outright negative. That’s a few points above her career average of 76, but it’s on par with her last two releases: “Chemtrails Over the Country Club” (81) and “Blue Banisters” (80). Based on early listens, though, its user score is through the roof, with over 200 fans rating the album with an average of 9.7 out of 10.
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Olivia Horn (Pitchfork) writes that “Did You Know” is a “sweeping, sterling, often confounding work of self-mythology and psychoamericana … This embrace of imperfection may help explain some of ‘Ocean Blvd’s’ excesses and experiments.” Brittany Spanos (Rolling Stone) agrees about Del Rey’s self-mythology, explaining that “the core of ‘Ocean Blvd.’ is Del Rey trying to get a closer look at herself, flipping the story as we have come to understand (and maybe even misunderstand) about what she’s trying to tell us.”
Shaad D’Souza (The Guardian), in another positive review, calls it “her quietest, most willfully inscrutable record in a long time … there’s an appealing aesthetic looseness to many of these songs,” while the artist “sings about herself with a withering gaze.” Annabel Nugent (The Independent) argues, “Her sweeping, layered ninth album is more ruminative than reactive: questions of family and legacy, memory and death swirl around one another until they’re one and the same.”
But a mixed review from Paul Attard (Slant) says “Did You Know” “feels more like a placeholder in the singer’s discography than an audacious new chapter.” And Bobby Olivier (Spin) thinks it “fails to recreate the indelible magic of past works.” Which critics do you agree with? Do you love her exploration of self or find it disappointing? Discuss in the comments below and here in our forums.
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