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Blue Banisters

by Lana Del Rey

Released October 22, 2021 via Interscope Records / Polydor Records

Reviewed November 2, 2021

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Dealer (63%), Blue Banisters (23%), Black Bathing Suit (23%)

A commitment to both experimenting and widening the sound associated with Lana Del Rey has precipitated two new albums for her catalogue in 2021; Blue Banisters is set to send Lana riding into the new year riding high. The LA-based singer/songwriter has long been a relatively constant force in the mainstream and internet spaces of pop music, though her revamped efforts post-Lust For Life have given way to yet another defining era in her career. Del Rey’s production and songwriting efforts for Blue Banisters operate in tandem to bring the listener a truly surreal and intriguing experience. ‘Text Book’ serves as a tone-setting intro, methodically constricting and expanding in tempo in intoxicating fashion. Similarly, the singer’s songwriting is obscured through a lens of nostalgia and fantasy, vivid in description, though blurry in application and context. While certain tracks on this warrant their presence more than others, Blue Banisters is a strong outing by pop’s americana queen. – DeVan (7.5/10)

Lana Del Rey has shown a penchant for crafting soothing ballads soaked in melancholy, a style that has been a staple of her music for as long as she’s been around. Where they’re usually accompanied by grandiose ideas and themes, Blue Banisters attempts to take a more simplistic, straightforward, and autobiographical approach. While this offers up a few heartfelt moments, it largely results in monotony that’s frequently broken up by predictable and embarrassing lines; “I get wild and fucking crazy” being the centerpiece of the hook on ‘Nectar of the Gods’ epitomizes this best. On the production front, the continuation of her minimalistic, country-infused, piano rock still sounds pretty, but there’s almost no differentiation from track to track. This might suffice for diehard Lana Del Rey fans, but for anyone expecting something new, or something that is even up to par, Blue Banister won’t deliver. – Dominick (5.5/10)

Over her past few releases, Lana Del Rey has really come into her own as a talented ballad writer and pop artist. Unfortunately, Blue Banisters misses the mark that made her last two records so great. While Del Rey’s sound has been bare recently, this record simply doesn’t have much of a pulse to it at all. There is a lack of personality or flair, becoming a dull experience across the board. Her weakest writing in recent years doesn’t help her case much, but the vocal talent on display could definitely win the listener over. Lana Del Rey is really stretching herself on some tracks, even if the instrumentals sound like they could not care less. – Jared (5/10)

Pablo: 8/10 | DeVán: 7.5/10 | Jared: 7.5/10 | Alan: 7.4/10

Cam: 7.3/10 | Hadley: 7/10 | Dominick: 5.5/10


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