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Review: “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd” explores profound ideas [MUSE]

Review: Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd explores profound ideas [MUSE]

In her most recent album in an impressive nine-album line-up, Lana Del Rey explores intimate themes of motherhood, religion and fading beauty, all while pondering life’s true meaning. It’s a really long album. As a non-Lana listener, “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd” was a great listening experience and introduction to her larger body of work. 

Released on March 24, listening to this album feels a bit like reading Del Rey’s wordy diary. Most songs feature heavy piano and experimental elements, such as spoken word and even multiple sermons. I loved the timeless feeling of this album. Each song feels nostalgic, perhaps due to the slow, patient melodies or lack of drums. Some standout songs to me were “Kintsugi,” “Paris, Texas” and “Let The Light In.”

In the titular song, Del Rey expresses a fear of being forgotten, “like the tunnel under Ocean Boulevard.” She compares herself to a forgotten tunnel in California as she dreads the public overlooking her almost 18 years into her career. Many artists, particularly female artists, can relate to apprehension about their aging. The film and music industry alike constantly praise youth, often equating it directly to success and beauty. 

Young artists like Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo and Gracie Abrams (all under age 25) are applauded for their commercial success specifically because of their age. While their success is no small feat, it begs the question: What happens to these women when they are no longer young? Del Rey similarly explores this apprehension in the song “Young and Beautiful” from 2013, where she wonders how the public will accept her aging. Del Rey, still a fresh-faced 37, may now feel “too old” for the music industry. 

Overall, I really enjoyed the themes explored in this album. Lyrics throughout the record are both poetic and haunting, and every song feels cohesive. While the album feels a bit lengthy, it is definitely worth the listen. I think it establishes Del Rey as one of the most interesting musicians of our time, and I am excited to see what she does next.

On this blog, members of the Carmel High School chapter of the Quill and Scroll International Honorary Society for High School Journalists (and the occasional guest writer) produce curations of all facets of popular culture, from TV shows to music to novels to technology. We hope our readers always leave with something new to muse over. Click here to read more from MUSE.  

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