People still have strong feelings about Lana Del Rey. Some dislike her, considering her fake or what have you. Some are James Franco. Regardless, she keeps making music, and the second single from her upcoming album, “High by the Beach,” just received its official premiere. It leaked a couple days ago, as is the natural state of things in music these days, but now you can listen to “High by the Beach” all you want without any sticky moral or ethical conundrums.
There has already been a discussion about this song being a return to Lana Del Rey’s hip hop influences, which were more prevalent in the days when she was referring to herself by the odious moniker of the “gangster Nancy Sinatra.” A hip hop vibe is pretty clear on the track, both in terms of the style of the music and the fact that, in lieu of her mournful balladry, she seems to be doing something vaguely approaching rapping. She also uses the phrase “bad motherf*cker” at one point, which is rare in a torch song.
“High by the Beach” is an instance of Del Rey indulging some of her interests, which is fine. While she has shown that she’s better at the ballads, this song is perfectly fine in its own right. Just because she can do something better doesn’t mean she doesn’t do this well.