Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd? If you follow the music press and/or Lana Del Rey’s career (as if a person could possibly keep up with the former without inadvertently absorbing the latter), you did know that. LDR has been rolling out her latest opus since December, during which time she’s revealed title track “Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd,” “A&W,” and “The Grants.” Each song has been epic in its own way, suggesting we may be on the precipice of the best Del Rey record since Norman Fucking Rockwell! back in the pre-pandemic days of 2019. Now we get to test that hypothesis.
Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd has a fascinating guest list. Del Rey reunites with former duet partner Father John Misty on “Let The Light In.” She teams with Bleachers, aka longtime LDR producer Jack Antonoff, on “Margaret,” a song seemingly named after Antonoff’s fiancee Margaret Qualley. Jazzy Grammy darling and former Colbert bandleader Jon Batiste plays against type on the dark and doomy “Candy Necklace,” just after the interlude featuring some fiery preaching by LDR’s pastor, Judah Smith, regarding the difference between love and lust. There’s also indie-pop journeyman SYML on “Paris, Texas,” Canadian rapper Tommy Genesis on “Peppers,” and French pianist/composer Riopy on “Grandfather Please Stand On The Shoulders Of My Father While He’s Deep-Sea Fishing.”
That’s a lot to process, and it only encompasses half the album. Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd ranges from classic noir-ish LDR torch songs to wild formal experiments, and on first pass, it boasts some of the finest songwriting of her career. On “Sweet,” she sings, “I’m a different kind of fool/ If you want some basic bitch go to the Beverly Center and find.” As for Lana Del Rey, you can find her right here, by pressing play below.
Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd is out now on Interscope/Polydor.