REVIEW: Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd


Allison Mayhew, Editor-in-Chief

Lana Del Rey’s music career has been marked by success and controversy. “Did you know that there is a tunnel under Ocean Blvd’‘ is a deeply personal album that gives Del Rey’s introspect on religion, love, femininity, family and a search for self-identity. 

The album feels mellow and can lack instrumentation, and many tracks do not stand out, though her lyricism remains a highlight and shows a sense of maturity in her career. Del Rey creates a strong message about putting herself back together after commonly being perceived as unhappy and unstable.

The opening track, “The Grants”, begins the album by exploring the idea of an afterlife and taking memories of her family with her. Followed by the first single released, “Did you know there is a tunnel under ocean boulevard”, which successfully set the tone for the rest of the album. The repetition of the lyrics “When’s it gonna be my turn/Don’t forget me”, creates an eerie feeling that carries through the album. 

Self-exploration is especially mentioned throughout the album as Del Rey enters a new musical era.  “Grandfather, please stand on the shoulders of my father while he’s deep-sea fishing” and “Kintsugi” share the story of how she rebuilt herself. “I know they think that it took thousands of people/To put me together again like an experiment/Some big men behind the scenes/Sewing Frankenstein black dreams into my songs/But they’re wrong”. 

Track 9, “Fingertips” is a significant track to the album that delves deeply into questions of Del Rey’s familial relationships; specifically discussing her mothers’ absence during her childhood and how that has affected her. “Will the baby be alright?/Will I have one of mine?/Can I handle it even if I do?/It’s said that my mind/Is not fit, or so they said, to carry a child/I guess I’ll be fine”. These questions express her desire to feel motherhood, with also over-carrying concern about her ability to. The lyrics again allude to the fact that she is dealing with the negative perception of her reputation.

Popular track “Let the light in” brings in a guitar for one of the only times in the album, creating a sound that feels closer to the unforgettable “Norman F**cking Rockwell” era. The guitar, piano and voices blend together to create a delicate sound. “Look at us, you and I, back at it again/’Cause I love to love, to love, to love you/I hate to hate, to hate, to hate you” these lyrics simply express the ups and downs of her relationships and the impulsive feeling it creates. 

Del Rey ends the album with “Taco Truck x VB”. Here she makes a callback to her widely praised “Norman F**king Rockwell”,  which established herself as a lyricist and an appreciated artist by the popular media. It ends the album with a nostalgic touch on her career and her growth.