Living the Alternative: A guide to Lana Del Rey’s albums

Dark, mysterious, sexualized, nostalgic. One might think this sounds like a weird combination of words to put together, but really I’m just describing Lana Del Rey’s albums. To anybody who is a professed fan of the iconic singer they will know exactly what I am describing when I discuss her albums. However, out of all her albums I could recommend to a first time listener, I’m not sure I could fully choose, so instead here is a list of her albums in order of my personal favorites needed for a first timer to fall in love with her music.

*disclaimer: Lana also has other albums, however these four are not only the most popular


1.) Born to die (her first album) – this really is probably no surprise for experienced listeners, but literally, it all starts here. From the classic and iconic “Blue Jeans” to the dark and dangerous reflection of youth that “Carmen” elaborates on, this CD is built for success. What Lana does so well is capturing the feelings of the past and the present – mixing classic and modern in one smooth cocktail of perfection.

2.) Paradise – Really, she could not have picked a better album title. This album really is an electric fused sound of sexually hyped up energy. “Cola” for example includes every sexualized lyric that transforms her and “Gods and monsters” portrays her in this twisted garden of eden that she portrays as her own soul. Mix it all together into one music video and you get a visual acid trip of edgy sound and the naked vulnerability of being lustful.

3.) Honeymoon – While this album was actually released fourth behind Ultraviolence it reminds me of what being in love in the 50s and early 60s would have been like had I been there. From the album cover to the sweet and deep songs like “Religion” as well as the smooth and sultry electricity that “Music to watch boys to” brings, she really finds herself in this love struck romance again with the dizzying honeymoon phase that most relationships experience.

4.) Ultraviolence – I would never be able to rank Lana Del Rey’s albums by quality of song because they are all incredible in their own ways, this album definitely has a different kind of tune to it. Lana Del Rey seems to go through phases with her artwork and this phase is truly how it is described “ultra-violent” and dark. The song titled as so on her album begins with the lyrics “he called me D.N. which stood for deadly nightshade because I was filled with poison, but blessed with beauty and rage” seduces listeners into a twisted dark side of what love can do. Love – or at least the toxic attraction which can also occur. Everyone has a dark side and this is just Lana’s and that being so it is still beautiful to listeners.

Preview: Lust for Life

Lana recently dropped news that her next album will be called Lust for Life and with one single already released known as “Love” I can tell this one will be as great, if not better than her others. Additionally, it will be different and that is easily seen on the music video almost like she has found a peaceful medium, and is the phase of a relationship where it will be just bliss.

If you have not fallen in love with her artistry by the second album, I’m not sure where to help you. However, if you are a newly recognized fan you can agree she is beyond talented and seeing her live is an other worldly experience you should definitely live it at least once in your life.