Lana Del Rey Reaches Heavenly New Heights With “Ride” (Single Review)

It’s hard to believe, but the greatest album of 2012 just became even greater.

Earlier today, Lana Del Rey revealed the album art, tracklisting and a teaser trailer from the re-release of her debut record, Born To Die The Paradise Edition, out on November 12. And tomorrow–today, technically–she’s releasing “Ride,” the lead single from the campaign.

By now, we’ve come to understand that a typical Lana Del Rey production is bound to contain certain traits: Lonesome vocals, evocative Americana, a swaggering stride, nostalgia-inducing swells of strings, references to her bad baby.

But “Ride, which was produced by Rick Rubin, takes Lana to the next level, as the songstress sets off along the dusty trail to find some peace of mind. It’s ethereal and majestic, and feels even more massive than anything she’s ever recorded.

“I hear the birds on the summer breeze/I drive fast, I am alone in the night,” she quivers with a slight country drawl above the song’s striding beat, bringing The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers to mind. (Judging by this song, their voices would mesh like a dream–a duet somewhere down the road is certainly in order!)

As she goes on, Lana grows more despondent, eventually leading to a near breakdown during the bridge: “I’m tired of feeling like I’m fucking crazy,” Lana cries out. “I’m tired of driving ’til I see stars in my eyes.”

(In typical stan fashion, I immediately thought of Britney. The song actually feels like it could have been her inner monologue while driving around aimlessly at night for hours during the perilous Blackout years. I don’t actually think it’s such a stretch, actually!)

But if there’s any pivotal moment, it’s the final flourish of the chorus: “I just ride,” she concludes simply and dreamily, over and over again on repeat. And as the strings soar, and the voices in the background blend together, and Lana’s voice carries upward–it’s all so heavenly. Just absolute perfection. Everything else slips away and nothing else matters.

“Ride” was released on September 25. (iTunes)

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