Review – Lana Del Rabies – In the End I am a Beast

It’s a sad state of affairs when the person summing up 2016 just happens to be rapper Cage Kennylz himself.

In articles, Insane Clown Posse has even said that what has been going on was more frightening than anything they can put upon the Carnival albums. Donald Trump is president, neo-nazis are trolling the city. Nobody but privileged (regardless of their class) white men and Republicans feel “safe”. So, what happens when the world is bound to be scarier than anything you imagine? How do you make a frightening album, if the world is more frightening than your material? Paint what you see. Regurgitate the reality from your point of view.

Lana Del Rabies is NOT a rapper, but she is something that can be much scarier to be: a woman. Her sexuality is given over to the controls of religion and patriarchy. Lesser men despise and uplift such femininity in the same exact breath, her vocals aren’t taken as seriously as it ought to be…times are rough for women looking to get equal respect and a right to safety. Named after a singer whose lyrics depict the heaven and hells of female submission as a feminist act, LDRabies takes that idea and further exposes the hell in the destruction of the woman. If In The End I Am a Beast says anything, it’s that wherever there is destruction and despair, there is a need to shout your voice loud enough to eclipse the voices. However, it doesn’t mean that it will be heard.

Lana Del Rabies’ vocals peak so loudly amongst the static and aftermath, that it fuzzes before you know what she is trying to sing. A deep sea of static and a woman shouting for dear life kicks off “Don’t Tell Her Where She’s Been”. Blasts of noise cover abraisive drms before syruping her vocals. Imagine the darkest side of shoegaze, and you’ll get a good idea of what’s presented here. Pain, anger and catharsis comes across, but her messaage is lost amongst the sea. Amongst the collection of songs, the sludgy “Softboy” comes off the most hellish of the bunch. And “Coward” is the most confrontational in her grievances. “Say what you want to say, but I know”, she says, possibly to either a rapist or anyone willing to sully her name. Nobody walks out of this album with the reprieve she can’t gain herself.

To further push through the point, LDR channels Tori Amos’ Strange Little Girls-era and covers a traditional Leadbelly song “Where Did You Sleep Last Night”. Where it may sound like an ordinary blues song in Leadberlly’s voice, it is a haunting performance, almost defeatist when a woman sings the song. The whole thing is brought home effectively with the sound of a woman screaming for help.

In the End I Am a Beast sneers with all of the seething emotion of a scorn woman. She doesn’t have to roar. THe melodic blasts do the roaring for her. And the pain suggests that the world of a woman can be as scary, if not scarier, than anything ICP could ever muster.

“Just remember, everyone can hear you; by the way, no one cares.” The album description in a nutshell.

If you should decide to buy the album, all of the proceeds of the album will go directly to RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), the US of A’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.

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