Continuing my track-by-track appreciation of Lana Del Rey’s newest album, Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd…
Track 3: ‘Sweet’
Three tracks into this album, it seems clear we’re in for a predominantly strings-and-piano soundscape, which I could see turning off some casual fans while exciting diehards like me.
Some Lana Del Rey fans have spent the 11 years since Born to Die came out waiting for her to recreate the trip-hop smorgasbord of that album. A few tracks aside, I think it’s clear she has little interest in doing that.
‘Sweet’ is a lovely breakup (or not?) song that finds Del Rey giving an ultimatum to a lover. She wants somebody with whom she can talk about “the stuff that’s at the very heart of things.” She is contemplating marriage and motherhood, and a simpler, deeper sort of life.
Among all this classic poetic imagery, I love how she drops in the distinctly modern line “If you want some basic bitch, go to the Beverly Center and find her.” Del Rey often seems like an artist teleported in from another time and place, but she can deliver a Twitter-ready zinger with the best of them.
Stars in my eyes, hiking up Griffith
Thinking about what was said and what didn’t
Get said in the Midwest, wish I could tell you now
I wrote you a note, but I didn’t send it
‘Cause that’s the best method the women here taught me about
What you don’t really understand
I’ve got magic in my hand, stars in my eyes
I’m a different kind of woman
If you want some basic bitch, go to the Beverly Center and find her
I’m sweet, bare feet
If you wanna go where nobody goes
That’s where you’ll find me
In the sweet north country
If I’m not there, comе to my house on Genesee
What you doin’ with your lifе? Do you think about it?
Do you contemplate where we came from?
Lately, we’ve been makin’ out a lot
Not talkin’ ’bout the stuff that’s at the very heart of things
Do you want children? Do you wanna marry me?
Do you wanna run marathons in Long Beach by the sea?
I’ve got things to do, like nothing at all
I wanna do them with you
Do you wanna do them with me?
If you want someone, then just call me up
And remember where I’ll be
Sweet in bare feet
You can find me where no one will be
In the woods somewhere, in the night
In the heart of a valley
In the sweet north country
If I’m not there, come to my house on Genesee
I’m curious if Del Ray lives on or near Genesee Avenue in LA. I found this cool website that lists every place mentioned in her songs, though I don’t think it has been updated for the new album yet. She did, however, reference Genesee in the song SportsCruiser.
I continue to find it hilarious that Lana references basic bitches going to the Beverly Center and then notes that her home is right down the street from it. I can’t tell if she’s being intentionally ironic or not – but it’s a standout detail of the album for me.