I like these lyrics from the title monitor of Lana Del Rey’s sprawling ninth album, “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Underneath Ocean Blvd,” which comes out as we speak:
Harry Nilsson has a music, his voice breaks at 2:05
One thing about the best way he says “Don’t overlook me”
Makes me really feel like
I simply want I had a good friend like him
Somebody to get me by
Del Rey’s music is each vividly intimate and extremely referential. She writes like a loyal however conversational fan of music historical past — speaking again to the trendy songbook and to lots of her favourite artists, guided by standard music to her personal private epiphanies.
Del Rey’s old-soul reverence collapses the space between generations, too. Individuals listening to Harry Nilsson’s “Don’t Overlook Me” when it first got here out — on “Pussy Cats” from 1974, the infamous chronicle of his “Misplaced Weekend” with John Lennon — have been simply as prone to be moved by that wrenching half when his voice breaks, however they most likely wouldn’t have recognized its exact time stamp. Del Rey’s homage speaks the language of digital-era listening (“his voice breaks at 2:05”), however her emotional connection to Nilsson is so deeply felt, it appears to transcend time and switch him right into a peer.
Elsewhere on the album, the much-covered, centuries-old people customary “Froggy Went a Courtin’” makes Del Rey really feel linked to her ancestors when she hears it at a funeral. Leonard Cohen’s well-known lyric “there’s a crack in every little thing, that’s how the sunshine will get in” echoes all through “Ocean Blvd” like a cherished mantra. On “The Grants,” the album’s stirring, gospel-tinged opening quantity, she interprets the phrases of a pastor by likening them to not, say, a selected Bible verse, however to “‘Rocky Mountain Excessive,’ the best way John Denver sings.”
“Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Underneath Ocean Blvd” is as wealthy, difficult and singular as something Del Rey has launched but, and provided that its run time is a frightening hour and 17 minutes, it’s going to require a little bit time to sink in. Immediately’s playlist places a few of its greatest songs in dialog with the opposite artists it references or, within the case of Father John Misty, options. Might it function an entry level, or possibly simply as a method to tunnel deeper into Lana Del Rey’s gradual, subterranean sound.
Possibly Del Rey would even say that these are a number of the songs that specify her. Which jogs my memory: I’m nonetheless studying by means of your (many) nice submissions from earlier this week, and I look ahead to sharing some with you in Tuesday’s Amplifier.
That’s how the sunshine will get in,
The Amplifier Playlist
Pay attention on Spotify. We replace this playlist with every new publication.
“Lana Del Rey Talks Again to the Songbook” monitor checklist
Monitor 1: John Denver, “Rocky Mountain Excessive” (1972)
Monitor 2: Lana Del Rey, “The Grants” (2023)
Monitor 3: Tex Ritter, “Froggy Went a Courtin’” (1945)
Monitor 4: Father John Misty, “Goodbye Mr. Blue” (2022)
Monitor 5: Lana Del Rey that includes Father John Misty, “Let the Gentle In” (2023)
Monitor 6: Leonard Cohen, “Anthem” (1992)
Monitor 7: Lana Del Rey, “Kintsugi” (2023)
Monitor 8: Harry Nilsson, “Don’t Overlook Me” (1974)
Monitor 9: Lana Del Rey, “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Underneath Ocean Blvd” (2023)
Lana isn’t the one artist to understand the damaged great thing about Nilsson’s “Don’t Overlook Me,” after all. Listed here are two cowl variations I like: Neko Case’s spirited rendition, from her nice 2009 album “Center Cyclone,” and a devoted take from the Walkmen, on which the frontman Hamilton Leithauser sounds a lot like Nilsson that it’s a little bit bit spooky.
Additionally, when you’re on the lookout for some newer music: On Fridays, our chief pop music critic, Jon Pareles, and I choose a number of the week’s most notable new songs for the Playlist, which you’ll hearken to right here.