Since last years’ sub-par Ultraviolence, Lana Del Rey’s image has once again become a major talking point. The short of it is that Del Rey’s image she presents is more interesting than the music she delivers. That was, until ‘Honeymoon’ came out a few months ago and it made sense. Lana Del Rey works best when she’s putting out Disney-esque ballads full of ominous piano and her voice bare. ‘High By The Beach’ isn’t anything like that; it’s a mess of soft-trap beats and stuttering vocals reinforcing the same message that we’ve heard time and time before.
The chorus, consisting of ‘All I wanna do is get high by the beach’ with the same kind of beats of some early 00s R’n’B that sound incredibly stale and are propped up by Del Rey delivering one of her worst vocal performances in memory, especially in the bridge where it becomes painfully apparent that she can’t go into her upper registers. That leaves a dreary ode to beachside mind-alteration and Del Rey ‘Never bought into your bullshit’. This is a culmination of Lana Del Rey’s musical dregs, where she can’t hide behind her image to save herself.