“Give me all of that Ultraviolence!” we cry.
“Okay,” she says.
And, for once, our Queen of Coney Island seems to be in a pretty swell mood.
While every song Lana’s ever recorded plays like the aural equivalent of a polaroid photo from the ’60’s, “Brooklyn Baby” is perhaps the most nostalgic offering we’ve heard from Ultraviolence yet, throwing in references to beat culture, jazz and Lou Reed — a nod to an era she once longed to belong to.
From an interview with XL Semanal:
I was looking for an artistic community like Dylan’s, Joan Baez’s or Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg’s beat generation…in the sixties, where they spent their nights writing novels or folk songs. I also sought respect as a writer within that community. And, truthfully, I found neither.
But she’s gone ahead and created her own world, anyway.
“They say I’m too young to love you, I don’t know what I need/They think I don’t understand the freedomland of the seventies,” Lana gently declares, floating across a dreamy electric guitar and slow marching drum beats.
But let them talk! Their words mean nothing to Lana, whose only concern is getting down (“Body Electric” style) to the sound of her boyfriend’s guitar with feathers in her hair…and hydroponic weed in her brain: “My jazz collection’s rare/I can play most anything/I’m a Brooklyn baby,” she happily sings.
And while their relationship is complicated — even violent, perhaps — she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’m free,” she sighs, “I’m free.”
By the end of the song, we’re finally treated to a reveal of her bad baby: Lana’s IRL boyfriend Barrie James O’Neill comes in for a surprise assist with his ultra-deep voice to sing the last few lines. “Yeah, my boyfriend’s really cool, but he’s not as cool as me,” she teases as he obediently sings along.
Post-Born To Die, Lana’s also well aware of the “authenticity” backlash that plagued her debut over two years ago (and even now). And in some ways, parts of what we’ve already heard from Ultraviolence so far, like “Brooklyn Baby,” seem to play like a response to all that.
“If you don’t get it then forget it, ’cause I don’t have to fucking explain it,” she sings at one point.
It’s not only one of the song’s best moments, but the best response to everything about Lana Del Rey.
‘Ultraviolence’ will be released on June 17. (iTunes)