Album Analysis: ‘Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd’

Behind each song of Lana Del Rey’s long-awaited album


Art by Ella Broms

Bing Heine-Van Fossen, Managing Editor

Lana Del Rey officially dropped her ninth studio album, eighth not counting her longer EP, “Paradise.” Del Rey’s new album is titled “Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd,” and dropped on March 24 at 12 a.m EST. 


The album is a further exploration of Del Rey’s career featuring, sixteen tracks:

1. “The Grants”

Del Rey reflects on her family as well as what she loves. She explains the things that she would take with her to heaven if she died. Del Rey would take “the way John Denver sings” as well as her niece, to name a few.

2. “Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd?”

Believe it or not, this is actually true! There is a tunnel under Ocean Blvd. in Long Beach, California. Del Rey compares herself to the tunnel, singing “don’t forget me, like the tunnel under Ocean Blvd.” The tunnel was opened in 1928, but was closed in 1967. The tunnel was a convenience to get to the beach for many and would house vendors as well as art, yet it was swiftly forgotten about and parts of the tunnel remain abandoned today.

3. “Sweet”

Del Rey uses this song as a soft melody that describes where she is at in life. She remarks that she is not basic, but rather sweet. Del Rey’s career has evolved throughout the years and this is a perfect representation of that evolution as she transfers to show her own thinking and making the music that she wants to.

4. “A&W”

Del Rey describes the experience of life taking a toll on a person. The song provides an interesting second half of its seven minutes, in the second half it changes beat and speaks of a man named “Jimmy.” Whether or not this is a reference to Del Rey’s earlier song Ultraviolence is unknown, but “Ultraviolence” also mentions a man named Jim, so “A&W” may serve as a subtle reference to her earlier career.

5. “Judah Smith Interlude”

This song has caused quite a bit of TikTok controversy. Judah Smith, the subject of Del Rey’s song, is the artist and Justin Bieber’s pastor, and has expressed some controversial opinions on the LGBTQIA+ community and gay marriage. The interlude features a sermon from Smith on the topics of lust and satisfaction in life, and fans are in heated debate of whether Del Rey agrees with Smith’s homophobic views or was mocking him. She has been to pride festivals in the past and was not always religious. In her song “Gods and Monsters” off of her EP “Paradise”, she sings: “God’s dead, I said baby that’s alright with me.” This leaves many questions about her change of heart as well as her support for the LGBTQIA+ community.

6. “Candy Necklace”

This song features artist Jon Batiste, yet he only comes in at the end of the song singing, just repeating one line. The song connects back to Del Rey’s earlier career by referencing New York State. Del Rey started her career in New York state and draws back to her roots in her EP album “Ultraviolence”. THe norm however it seems for Del Rey, is to make Refrence to Southern California, and that is no acception to this album.

7. “Jon Batiste Interlude”

This song is another interlude that doesn’t feature much singing, but Lana Del Rey wouldn’t have a new album without at least one of her iconic interludes. The interlude features little to no singing, but has some laughing and talking between Jon Batiste and Del Rey set to background music. 

8. “Kintsugi”

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of fixing broken objects with gold. This is meant to glorify imperfections, demonstrating their value. Del Rey reflects on people she misses in this song, yet she never clarifies exactly who she misses. Del Rey repeatedly states that her brokenness was “how the light gets in” and learning to appreciate the cracks of life, this draws a connection to Leonard Cohen’s song “Anthem” which also states “That’s how the light gets in,” it is definitely not out of Del Rey’s real to make connections back to old Hollywood like this.

9. “Fingertips”

Crammed in the middle of the album is this deeply emotional song. Del Rey mentions her family members and expresses her wish for children one day. She keeps no secret about how much she loves her niece (mentioned in “The Grants”) and expresses how she too wishes to experience motherhood someday.  

10. “Paris, Texas” 

This is a collaboration with Netwerk Records artist SYML. The song itself was originally created by SYML, and Del Rey took the track and added lyrics to create a whimsical song that definitely stands out from the rest of the album.

11. “Grandfather, Please Stand On The Shoulders Of My Father While He’s Deep-Sea Fishing”

As long as the title is, it only scratches the surface of the subject matter. The title comes from a lyric in the song in which the artist asks her grandfather to watch over her father while he is fishing for sharks in the pacific. Del Rey’s father, Robert Grant, is actually a fisherman with his own LP coming out soon. Del Rey also ponders the power of a higher being in this song asking for signs.

12. “Let The Light In”

This is a partnered song with Father John Misty where Del Rey calls back to the motif of light. Light was used in “Kintsugi” as well and depicts the letting in of relief and joy. The song represents finding love in a person again after taking a break from them, reflecting on old time while looking into the future.

13. “Margaret”

This song was written by Jack Antonoff and Del Rey for Antonoff’s wife, Margaret Qualley. If I had a nickel for every time a song written by another artist was about Jack Antonoff’s relationship, to quote Dr. Doofenshmirtz, “I’d have two nickels – which isn’t lot, but it’s weird that it happened twice.” Taylor Swift’s song “You Are in Love” was also dedicated to a significant other of Antonoff’s. 

14. “Fishtail”

The chorus presents the listener with the quote “you wanted me sadder,” which seems to be a reflection to Del Rey’s older music. Del Rey has kept it no secret that in the beginning of her career she wasn’t happy or satisfied with life. More recently, she has said that she is finally feeling happy. The reflection comes as fans expressed a desire for her to make music stylistically similar to her earlier material, yet that was from a dark time in her life and she has not gone back to her old ways in quite some time. However, we did see a little hint of her old self in this album (see “Taco Truck x VB”).

15. “Peppers”

This song was quite a confusing one at first, containing a seemingly random mention of Angelina Jolie, but under closer inspection, this song begins to make sense. The song is a reference to the 2001 movie, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. This movie stars Angelia Jolie as well as her iconic braid (in the movie). The song makes reference to certain scenes in the movie as well as this iconic braid. The correlation that Del Rey and Tommy Genesis make to the braid shares a common theme of A&W.  

16. “Taco Truck x VB”

Lana gives us a mash up of a new song and an old one to close up the album. This song starts with a similar tone to “Peppers” and “A&W,”  but has a transition in the second half to an unreleased version of Del Rey’s older song “Venice B—”. This wraps up the album while connecting back to her earlier eras just one last time. 

To celebrate this new album, Lana will begin another festival circuit headlining stages at Lollapalooza in Chicago, United States, D’été De Qc Music in Québec, Canada, and Glastonbury in Pilton, United Kingdom. And at a pop-up event in Long Beach Robert Grant leaked that Lana Del Rey will be going on another tour, locations, setlist, and venues are still unknown.