Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence
Critic Score
Based on 37 reviews
2014 Ratings: #453 / 1003
Year End Rank: #14
User Score
2014 Ratings: #104
Liked by 92 people
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Consequence of Sound

Del Rey’s voice flourishes. Inside the album’s big, vintage swing, she sings herself into places that Born to Die, with its pop veneer, couldn’t touch.

Entertainment Weekly

The addition of producer Dan Auerbach enhances Ultra’s air of everyday menace, and finds Del Rey digging deeper. 

Pretty Much Amazing

Ultraviolence, a collection of mid-century ballads spiked with blues-rock, is a stunning accomplishment. Its eleven songs whimper and howl, soothe and taunt, hypnotize and thrill. 

Northern Transmissions

Del Rey’s work has depth as well as glamour, and the timeless quality of Ultraviolence suggests that her work will outlast many of her more gimmick-oriented contemporaries.


It comes across as personal. It comes across as purely genuine. And most of all, it comes across as Lana fitting more snugly into this identity she's been carving out for herself.


It’s a strung out, tear-drenched collection, beginning epic with opener ‘Cruel World’ and only getting more dramatic as it progresses.


Ultraviolence asserts that as a songwriter, she has complete control of her craft, deciding on songs far less flashy or immediate but still uniquely captivating


Ultraviolence is a beautiful argument for her relevance and her potential longevity.

FACT Magazine

With Ultraviolence, Lana Del Rey remains a singular figure in music, sounding (and addressing the idea of authenticity) like no one else.


In a career fraught with obsessions over the perfection-imperfection dichotomy, it turns out to be a blessing that she put pop and its various pressures on the backburner just to deliver some real summertime sadness. 


She sings about drugs, cars, money, and the bad boys she's always falling for, and while there remains a sepia-toned mid-century flavor to many of these songs, LDR is no longer fronting like a thugged-out Bettie Davis.

The Guardian

For all the improvements on Born to Die, the problem with Ultraviolence remains the same: Lana Del Rey keeps repeating herself.

NOW Magazine

This time, her strangely aloof detachment works much better with her atmospheric ballads than it did on her debut.

God Is in the TV
By no means a cheerful listen then, but a stunningly performed and arranged one, and an album likely to feature on 2014 best-of lists in the mainstream and alternative media alike.

It’s entertainment, camp, and the ambiguity of it all, nurtured by the cool distance of Lana Del Rey’s image, is a huge part of the music’s appeal.

Drowned in Sound

As an album to invest in, feel sentimental about, or be genuinely thrilled by, Ultraviolence falls short. Take it simply as a sumptuously-presented pop record, though, and you have to wonder if you’ll hear a better one this year.


Ultraviolence prioritizes mood over innovation, classicism over experimentalism, and is better for it.


It is musically defter and subtler than the previous album, if not entirely dissimilar in terms of atmosphere. The pace is slow, the colours are faded and the feeling of doomed romance hangs around the record like bequiffed ne’er-do-wells about a bowling alley.

Rolling Stone

Ultraviolence is a melancholy crawl through doomed romance, incorrigible addictions, blown American dreams.

No Ripcord

It’s a record that does an awful lot of things ‘wrong’ and is all the more beguiling for it.

Slant Magazine

Ultraviolence finds her stripping away much of the sonic, if not thematic, pretense...or at least substituting it with a new one.


Del Rey sounds alone, which is apt because these are some lonely damn songs. She’s often sung about being stuck with absent, uncaring men and loving them anyway, and Ultraviolence doesn’t change that.


What comes through clearest is a coherency defined by the distinct reluctance to do much to unsettle a trajectory that’s taken Del Rey from complete unknown through blog-hyped ‘newcomer’ to legitimate pop superstar.


The line between self-aware irony and tragically conforming to type is thin, though, her knowing winks getting stuck in a tangle of false eyelashes, and ultimately undermining what had the potential to be a powerful artistic statement. 


The dynamic scarcely shifts ... but that’s the point: get this tangled up in blue, there’s no way out.

The Telegraph

Absorbing though Ultraviolence is, the album could certainly do with a dollop more musical levity. Without the hip-hop beats that peppered her first album, the songs here lack a sprinkling of brashness – a little of the Kim and Kanye touch would have helped.

The Observer

Even though there are half-a-dozen high points here, the stylistic shifts that kept Born to Die complicated are missing. The end result is stylish and cogent but, as a consequence, perhaps a teensy bit samey.

Under The Radar

Throughout Ultraviolence, there's a sense of musical haziness that rests in a safe zone that Del Rey either can't or won't escape from. The mid-tempo songs have elements of woozy European pop with a dose of baroque pop, yet at the same time aren't pop at all. 

Crack Magazine

On Born To Die, desolation was the subject matter, but on Ultraviolence it is the method. This record is stark, isolated and at times unnervingly frozen.

A.V. Club

The ultimate downfall of Ultraviolence, though, is that it fails to craft its own identity or forge its own creative vision.

The 405

It's perhaps her greatest failing that you're left with not an ounce of sympathy, or investment, in the seedy, gritty yarns she's so desperate to recount.

The Needle Drop
Behold, the epitome of superficial nostalgia!

"Ultraviolence" has a place in my heart. This album was where I started to get into the music of Lana Del Rey, with songs like Brooklyn Baby, and the great masterpiece of Shades Of Cool, throwing back to the 60's with a very submissive, depressive and nostalgic lyric. I love this album and it is one of my Lana Del Rey favorites.

Favorite tracks: Cruel World, Ultraviolence, Shades Of Cool, Brooklyn Baby, West Coast, Sad Girl, Pretty When You Cry, Money Power Money, Fucked Up My ... read more
"Ultraviolence" is powerful, touching, hypnotizing, dramatic and extremely captivating. Del Rey made another fucking masterpiece. This album is one of those albums that must be considered a masterpiece. It's like a fairytale. Lana takes us to a different time. The songs are emotional and beautifully composed with dark tunes.

✅ Cruel World | Ultraviolence | Shades of Cool | Brooklyn Baby | Sad Girl | Money Power Glory | Old Money
Ultraviolence is an album that received a lot of controversy for its lyrical themes and more aggressive way of showing the singer's experiences through music, for example we have a phrase that shocks many people at the beginning of the project which is "He hit me and it felt like a kiss " (on the song "Ultraviolence") demonstrating that the singer suffered aggressively in toxic relationships. The only thing I don’t understand are people who think she’s ... read more
definitely a more improved version of Born To Die with better instrumentation/production and more emotional performances from Lana. one major flaw is the unnecessarily long runtime of the album and how tedious Lana's slow-burning sound becomes the farther into the album you get.
Annoying at times, sleep-inducing at other times. Sound's like I'm listening to a moody bitch on her periods if I'm to be mean about it.
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Added on: May 11, 2014