The honeymoon period is over I reckon, that’s what Honeymoon signals. Where, previously I could easily get quite worked up about just how shit Lana Del Rey was and how these all-day-suckers were still sure she was doing wonderful – now I just don’t care. But it sounds like she doesn’t either. She’s still singing ballads in a way where you can almost hear the leftover drool rolling down the side of her stunned-in-place face. She’s still come dressed as Alicia Hunt from Tim Burton’s Batman, I’m sure of that. And she still thinks she’s singing something that might one day be a Bond theme.
But where, previously, her nonchalance was crafted, trowelled-on even, now she’s just doing demented torch-singer as a lark. We get the full realisation of that when she covers Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood. Before that it’s really just Lana Del Rey singing what could have been a Florence & The Machine album, gone is any faux-earnest/ironic tip of the product-placement hat toward hip-hop. Now it’s just an afternoon of warbling caught on tape.
The voice is still thin and when it attempts to shimmer it nearly cracks. The songs are still – largely – absent. When they do arrive, we’ve heard them before. A thousand times or more.
Honeymoon is Del Rey’s best album – by virtue of the fact that it’s hard to give a shit and it’s arguably her least jarring, abrasive, annoying. That also makes it close to her worst in a sense. There’s nothing here to hang on to. The suckers are about to get found out. They’ve been lured in by the looks, the image, the transmogrification, the “irony”, essentially by all the bits they claimed didn’t matter at all.
One point there is true: Lana Del Rey doesn’t matter. Honeymoon almost gets as far as confirming it. If it could only – actually – be bothered.