Hot off the release of her well-received “Blue Velvet” cover, Lana’s dropped the official first single from the rerelease — a dreamy new ballad called “Ride,” which shows off the singer’s raspy vocals against haunting instrumentation. But is the single a sonic paradise? Listen below to find out.
Lana Del Rey — “Ride”
“Ride” is a tense, smartly produced slice of melodramatic pop, with a sharp melody and lyrics studded with dark imagery and wistful feeling. The production, at first spare and atmospheric, swells dramatically as orchestral strings rise to frame the chorus: “I hear the birds on the summer breeze, I drive fast/ I am alone in the night/ Been tryin’ hard not to get into trouble but I, I’ve got a war in my mind/ so I just ride.”
That ode to the open road theme works elegantly here, making the refrain as clear and effective as anything in Del Rey’s back catalogue.
The verses, too, borrow from the same nostalgic Americana tropes that were used on Born to Die. “You can be my full-time daddy,” she sings in the first verse. Later, she intones, “Dying young and I’m playing hard/ that’s the way my father made his life an art.” There may not be much of an evolution happening here, in terms of the themes Del Rey draws upon, but it’s a re-release, after all, not a whole new album.
“Ride” sees Del Rey continuing to do exactly what she does best, which is decadent melancholy. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and her tried-and-tested formula works to gorgeous effect on “Ride.”