Album Review: Lana Del Rey - Blue Banisters

Zahra Hanif gives high praise to Lana Del Rey's latest album

Zahra Hanif
1st November 2021
The fairy godmother of dream pop is back with her eighth studio album and her second this year, and it is beautiful and so strikingly vulnerable. Blue Banisters by Lana Del Rey evokes an amazing kind of melancholia, a magical kind of sadness where you're convinced you're floating above ground. 

The album begins with 'Text Book', a song reminiscent of 'Blue Jeans' of her 2012 album Born to Die as if to symbolise her growth and maturity in both her voice and the themes she sings of. Her yearning for a fairytale kind of love has faded, she only wants someone who'll "give" her "children" and "paint" her "banisters blue". The longing can be heard in her voice, it's a slow pain that makes your heartache and throat want to close up. This is an older woman's suffering, and it is astonishingly personal. 

A story is being told throughout the album, and her silky soft voice gives you no choice but to listen. 'Dealer' is perhaps the most pain-fuelled song on the album. When she sings "I don't wanna live", it is not being sung as much as it is cried. There is a great desperation in her tone as she tries to get through to a partner who simply doesn't care ("never give me nothing back"). Miles Kane's feature complements the track perfectly, with his voice wrapping around hers to create a new dimension and emphasise the other-worldly element to her music.

What makes this album so remarkable is how she is able to keep a consistent style throughout her years of work and many albums, while adjusting her themes to keep it genuine to her personal life. She won't shift for anyone, and this is what makes her a timeless indie-rock staple. Her work is bold and uncensored, and it touches every one of your emotions. There's a reason her career's still growing a decade on, and listeners haven't grown tired of her work, it's her raw authenticity and relatability. Blue Banisters is worth the listen.

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