Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd by Lana Del Rey: Album Review

Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd by Lana Del Rey: Album Review

Mickle Joseph, Copy Editor and Reporter

On March 24, 2023, Lana Del Rey released her well-anticipated ninth studio album Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd. She started working on the album not long after the release of Blue Banisters, which was released two years ago. The album includes collaborations with Jon Batiste, Bleachers, Father John Misty, Tommy Genesis, SYML and Riopy and features production by Mike Hemosa, Jack Antonoff, Drew Erickson, Zach Dawes, Benji and Del Rey herself. The sixteen-set tracklist is described as a mix of psychedelic, Americana, alternative pop and trip hop. It’s considered to be one of her more controversial albums due to the mixed feelings from fans.


“When I first listened to the album, I will be honest, I thought many songs were too slow paced music/tempo and that I would never purposely play one of these songs. The production on this album is simple, just a few instruments per song and most being guitar or piano. Additionally, it is clear that this album is lyric heavy. Instead of focusing on cool and modern sounds, the album focuses solely on storytelling,” said sophomore Eshaal Mirza.


She adds that “[she] also was intrigued by the different sounds [Del Rey] did incorporate into the music, for example, the gospel singing in “The Grant,” the interludes, and the talking/speaking voice instead of singing. One quick thing to note that caught [her] off guard, but in a good way was the production change halfway through “A&W” And last, but not least, the album certainly picked up throughout and got better the more [she] listened, especially because [she] began reading on Genius the meanings behind certain lyrics and how they are connected.”


The singles that have already been released are “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd,” “A&W” and “The Grants.” “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd” was the first single to be released and sounds similar to her previous work, so it was well-received by fans. However, a difference in opinion started to form in the fanbase once “A&W” was released.


Sophomore Dani Palusci, an avid fan of Del Rey’s music, said “the first half was really boring, but the second half of the album was probably [her] favorite. It got more up-beat deeper into the album you got.”


When asked about what song she’d recommend and what song is her favorite, “I would recommend “Margaret”. That one is my favorite off the album because Bleachers, the person that is featuring is actually an old friend of Lana Del Rey and the song is about his relationship with his fiance, Margaret, so that’s what I love about it because it tells a story of their relationship” said Palusci.

Some final thoughts and opinions she had of the album were that “[she] wouldn’t say that it was her favorite of [Del Rey’s], but [she] did like it. [She] really liked the way that it was made. It was kind of quiet, but there would be points in the music where a surprise rap or something that [she] really liked [would come up] because it’s incorporating up-beat music with ballad-type quiet music, that’s what [she] really likes about it.”


According to The New York Times, “that three-song suite [‘Fishtail,’ ‘Peppers’ and ‘Taco Truck x VB’] that concludes “Ocean Blvd” can certainly feel like an anticlimax, or a retreat from the existential questions posed in its opening movement. But it’s also a perfect distillation of the duality that makes Del Rey’s 21st-century siren songs so singular.”


Overall, the album is definitely a grower. It takes a few listens to get accustomed to Del Rey’s new sound, but it’s a piece of art that one starts to appreciate once it’s understood. “After listening to this album, songs have certainly been added to my playlists and this simpler style of music has given me a new appreciation for Land Del Ray’s work.” said Mirza.