Lana Del Rey’s “West Coast”: Review Revue

Carl Williott | April 14, 2014 8:16 am

Lana Del Rey‘s “West Coast” dropped today (April 14), and the lead single off Ultraviolence keeps Lana’s feet firmly planted in retro territory. But instead of channeling some warped hip-pop version of ’50s glamour, it has a seedier, vaguely psychedelic ’60s vibe. Producer Dan Auerbach eschewed a swollen orchestral arrangement in favor of some lean, analog noir, while Lana sings about smoking and loving and leaving, alternating between a husky whisper and a heavenly coo. It’s equal parts sullen and dreamy, which means its classic Lana — with some new tricks. Oh, and it’s pretty great.

So what did everyone else have to say about the new track? Head below for our roundup of reactions to “West Coast.”

:: SPIN argued the song conjured “images from a sort of Madison Avenue Manifest Destiny — silver starlets, lit Parliaments, rock’n’roll.”

:: Vulture connected the dots thusly: “Mix some ‘Edge of Seventeen’ (‘Ooh baby, ooh baby’) with an outtake from a Quentin Tarantino movie soundtrack, layer a signature lyrical style over that (‘Their golden cars and rock-n-roll groupies’), and you’ve got Lana Del Rey’s new single.

:: Billboard called it a “surprisingly breezy, guitar-driven track” and “less overtly moody than her previous work.”

:: The Guardian noted “the track oozes with the sultry sounds and textures of 80s drive time, based around a solitary guitar and anxiously breathy vocals.”

:: Our own Bradley Stern at MuuMuuse felt it marks “a fairly bold evolution in sound: The tempo shifts frequently, the instrumentation is jagged, and Lana’s voice skips between breathy franticness and slurred, drugged-out ecstasy.”

:: labeled it a “slinky, breathy ode to a boy and the western seaboard of the United States… the song pretty much stays in Del Rey’s melancholic lane.”

:: FACT Magazine may have had the most interesting reference point for the song: “We reckon it sounds a teeny bit like The Cardigans, which as far as FACT staffers are concerned is a very fine thing indeed.”

What do you think of Lana’s return? Let us know in the comments below.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.