BY: CAITLYN JENKINS
Before I get into this, I want to say a couple of things.
One, I’m including Paradise, even though it’s an EP. So, no, it’s not technically an album but I’m treating it like one for the purpose of choosing my favorites by Lana.
Two, I have so much respect for Lana Del Rey and the art that she creates. I’m not saying any of her music is terrible when I rank best to worst. It’s just a personal preference of which albums I prefer over the others.
With those disclaimers out of the way, I’m ready to start.
1. Born To Die (2012)
Born To Die was Lana’s debut album and comes in at number one for me. I still remember the first time I heard this album. I was 15 heading to Ireland on a plane. The airline had Born To Die on their music selection, and I’m so glad they did because this is still one of my favorite albums. The sound Lana creates with Born To Die gives us a melodramatic but still inspiring work of art. My favorite tracks are “Video Games”, “Radio”, “National Anthem”, “Blue Jeans”, “Dark Paradise” “Million Dollar Man”, and “Carmen.” I also love the bonus tracks “Lucky Ones” and “Without You.” I know that’s basically half of the album, but that’s why it’s my favorite. I could listen to every song and feel completely satisfied.
2. Ultraviolence (2014)
Lana’s second album, Ultraviolence, is my second favorite. Lana has described this album as “cinematic and dark” and I agree. Really, all you have to do is look at the title to know that. This is one of the top albums for me because when I listen, I can feel the emotion she put into these songs. Also, I love the rock sounds she incorporated into this project. With almost all of Lana’s albums she’s able to tell a story but still remain somewhat mysterious, but I think Ultraviolence nailed that on the head. This album (and most of her music) is more about the feelings you get from it, not literally what the lyrics say. Her ability to evoke feelings with Ultraviolence is why it’s second, along with the fact that every song off of it is listen-worthy. My favorite tracks are “Cruel World”, “Old Money”, “Ultraviolence” “Money Power Glory”, “Florida Kilos”, “Shades of Cool”, and “Brooklyn Baby.”
3. Lust For Life (2017)
It was really hard for me to place this album in the list. Even now, I’m still not sure if this is the right place, but I’m sticking with it. When Lana released “Love” I had high expectations for this album, especially after Honeymoon, which I thought Lana could’ve done a lot more with. After listening to Lust For Life top to bottom, I’m impressed. Lana branched out on this album in so many ways. First, the content that she is singing about is bigger than usual. She even brings politics into a few of the songs. Second, she ranges from the hip-hop sounding songs like “Summer Bummer” to the more acoustic sounds of “When The World Was At War We Kept Dancing.” And of course, this is Lana’s first album with guest singers. When I heard Lana would be featuring a handful of artists on this album, I wasn’t sure how to feel because before I felt like her solo work was always better than her songs with other artists, even though she only had a couple out at the time. My mind was definitely changed when I heard “Beautiful People, Beautiful Problems” with Stevie Knicks and “Tomorrow Never Came” with Sean Ono Lennon. Those are probably two of my favorite songs off the album. They really stand out and are the songs that make this album so great for me. Other tracks I really like are “Change”, “White Mustang”, “In My Feelings”, “Love”, and “Heroin.” This, of course, might change as time goes on, especially since the album has only been out a few days.
4. Paradise (2012)
Next up is Paradise. I love this EP. Even though it’s shorter than her albums (obviously), Lana still manages to create a work of art with her music. My favorites are “Cola”, “American”, “Ride”, and “Gods and Monsters.” For me, Paradise is somewhat a continuation of Born To Die. It matches the vibe and feelings, but still creates an ambiance that’s a little different. There really isn’t a reason for this being so low down beside the fact that Lana only has a hand full of albums and I really enjoy most of them.
5. Honeymoon (2015)
Honeymoon is my least favorite album from Lana Del Rey. Leading up to the release, I was really excited to hear what new music she would give the world. Sadly, when it was released I was disappointed because I was expecting something a little different. It’s not that it’s necessarily bad, it’s just not an album I would play top to bottom. I like the tracks “High By The Beach”, “Religion”, and “Freak,” but there’s not many on this album I would go out of my way to listen to, especially when she did so well on her other albums. Nothing about it made it stand out exceptionally to me, but Lust For Life has made up for that.