Lana Del Rey's "Shades of Cool" is the Most Honest Dangerous Love Song Ever — LISTEN
Lana Del Rey has had quite a memorable weekend. After Del Rey performed three songs at Kim and Kanye's wedding, she took the time to release another song off her upcoming album Ultraviolence. The album is due to be released in June and Del Rey has already debuted "West Coast", the song that everyone will be playing during late night beach parties all summer, but her latest is a different breed from all of that. Lana Del Rey's "Shades of Cool" is less of a summer song and more of a warning to star crossed lovers everywhere.
Del Rey has a certain knack for haunting songs and "Shades of Cool" is no different. It tells the story of a girl who is stuck in an unhealthy relationship with a womanizing drug addict. Although the lyrics acknowledge that she can't "fix him", "help him" or "make him better", the narrator doesn't seem to be in a hurry to abandon him or give up on him either. The implication is that she's not so blinded by her feelings that she can't see that there's no future here, but she's every bit as trapped in him as he is in his titular shades of cool.
If every song about a dangerous or forbidden love were as honest as this one, then maybe they wouldn't be quite as romanticized as they are. Like "Off to the Races" from Born to Die, Del Rey's love song harbors absolutely no illusions about the kind of person the narrator is involved with and the kind of relationship she's chosen to be in and that makes it feel more realistic than anything else.
Even better than the lyrics, however, is the music. The song initially sounds like an old fashioned jukebox playing in the background of a live music club until the interlude in the middle of the song that introduces a more rock and roll feel. Combine that with the echoing of Del Rey's voice as she sings the chorus and the song fades out and "Shades of Cool" is another one of those songs that you'll end up hearing for days after you actually turn it off. Between "West Coast" and "Shades of Cool", Ultraviolence is already beginning to seem like it's going to be Del Rey's best album yet.
Listen to the song below.