Del Rey’s Blue Banisters combines new, old style from singer


Lana Del Rey’s eighth studio album titled Blue Banisters was released on Oct. 22, just seven months after her last album. The 36-year-old singer first started teasing this album in late March.

The album was officially announced on April 27, with a release date of July 4. The original project, then titled Rock Candy Sweet, was delayed indefinitely on the 4th. In September the album was given a final release date of Oct. 22.

Before deactivating her Instagram account last month, Del Rey stated in an IGTV video that the album is “a compilation of older songs and a few newer songs, some written by family and friends and mostly old collaborators.”

I think that that statement was accurate, as some of the songs reflect her old style while many bring a fresh sound to her discography. Tracks like “Arcadia,” “Black Bathing Suit,” “Nectar of the Gods,” and “If You Lie Down With Me” are reminiscent of her sixth album Norman F****** Rockwell.

These songs have more poetic lyrics, along with echoey voice effects that are fun to sing. “If You Lie Down With Me” has to be one of my favorite songs off of the album. The chorus is my favorite part of the song. One of my favorite lyrics from it is “Once, twice, three times the guy I, ever thought I would meet.” It has an upbeat tempo and a catchy beat.

Del Rey released three singles from the album; “Wildflower Wildfire,” “Blue Banisters,” and “Text Book” on May 20. These singles set expectations for the rest of the project. Fans wanted something more like “NFR” or “Born To Die”, and these songs got them excited for the album. “Wildflower Wildfire” was also an extremely anticipated unreleased song.

I think the title track perfectly sets the tone for the entire album. Del Rey’s delicate vocals make you want to listen to the songs over and over. Her lyrics are complex and force you to listen to what she’s saying. The soft instrumentals allow her vocals and songwriting to stand out.

Songs like “Dealer,” “Thunder,” and “Interlude- The Trio” are very different from Del Rey’s previous work. They’re slightly less dependent on their lyrics and have a stronger sound. She experiments with hip-hop and brass on “Interlude” and more prominent drums on “Dealer.” With her pervious albums, especially Lust For Life and Born To Die, she stuck with similar tones and themes, and her experimentation on this album brought something new to the table.

I think her experimentation definitely paid off. These songs give us something that we haven’t seen from her before, and I’m interested to see what she does with these sounds in the future.

Unlike the previous tracks discussed, songs like “Violets for Roses,” “Living Legend,” “Sweet Carolina,” “Beautiful,” and “Cherry Blossom” are soft piano ballads. I don’t think more mellow songs like these are boring at all. They give us a chance to listen to the lyrics and enjoy the vocals in the song. My personal favorites from this group are “Sweet Carolina” and “Cherry Blossom.”

Some of the tracks also had references to current events in the past year. One good example is “Black Bathing Suit.” The song starts off with these lyrics; “Grenadine, quarantine, I like you a lot. It’s L.A… ‘Hey’ on Zoom, Target parking lot… and if this is the end, I want a boyfriend.” While I think these lyrics can be deemed tacky by some, it’s nice to hear her acknowledge the pandemic and include lyrics that almost everyone can make connections to.

Overall the album had the perfect mix of jazz, hip-hop, R&B and alternative sounds. It all blends together to create a very unique compilation of songs. In my opinion, this album was much better written than her seventh studio album, Chemtrails Over the Country Club. I only listened to it once or twice, and I wasn’t intrigued or immediately hooked on any of the songs. The tracks were also a bit hard to follow, and the lyrics were harder to relate to. I highly recommend her latest album to any fans of Norman F****** Rockwell, or any of Del Rey’s earlier work. It’s also a great option if you’re looking for something new to listen to. Blue Banisters is definitely one of my favorites from her so far.