The ongoing theme throughout Lana Del Rey’s entire musical canon–and one that I hope she continues to evolve but that never really changes at its core–is that of being jilted and having to recover from it. In rare cases, she gains the satisfaction of knowing that she was better off without the bloke whom she loved, but who did her so immensely wrong. “High by the Beach” is one of those examples, and now, a leaked track that fans are speculating could be either an unreleased song from Ultraviolence or a forthcoming one from her as of yet untitled fourth album (not counting that Lizzy Grant one).
Called “Best American Record,” the title isn’t as vain as you might think once Del Rey, in her best combination Shirley Manson/Courtney Love lilt, delves into the narrative at hand, which is that her boyfriend starts to act increasingly negligent as he works on creating an album that will amass him the fame and accolades he so desperately seeks from the masses. Though he starts out attentive enough, as evidenced by Del Rey’s wet dream for an architect’s reference, “My baby used to dance beneath my architecture/To the houses of the holy, dancing on them cigarettes,” her boo ends up becoming “so obsessed with writing the next best American record” that he stops noticing the good thing he has right in front of him.
Saddened that he doesn’t even seem to have enough mental capacity left within himself to dance under her architecture anymore at night, Del Rey accuses, “You did it all for fame, you did it all for fame/Tell me how it treats you now?” Based on her sultrily judgmental tone, probably not as well as he had hoped. Still, that doesn’t mean Del Rey isn’t one for intermittently reminiscing about the good times as she notes–in keeping with her recent lunar love–“We lost track of space, we lost track of time.” And yet, their relationship alone wasn’t enough to keep him happy as he continues to work on the best American record, which better at least have something “Smells Like Teen Spirit” worthy on it if he’s going to ditch LDR for a gaggle of groupies.
The other consistent plot point in the song is that, even though Del Rey knows it can never be again, she still insists, “All the roads lead to you, everything I want and do.” And yet, yearning isn’t going to change the fact that she and “Bill” were born to die. But who wants to be tied down by a rock star named Bill anyway? Lana done dodged a bullet. In any case, time will tell if this track, in a more polished incarnation, will appear on LDR’s new album later this year.