45 Best Albums of 2014 So Far

The best rock, hip-hop, EDM and country of this year's first half

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Lana Del Rey, 'Ultraviolence'
45
Courtesy of Interscope and Polydor Records.33/45

Lana Del Rey, 'Ultraviolence'

On her second album, Lana Del Rey is still a sad tomato. Ultraviolence is a melancholy crawl through doomed romance, incorrigible addictions, blown American dreams. She has pulled back on nods to hip-hop and hired a new gun: the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, who produced most of the LP at his Nashville studio. Auerbach introduces dashes of bad ass blues and psychedelic guitar, but Del Rey – who co-wrote every song but the closing cover of Jessie Mae Robinson's 1950s hit "The Other Woman" – holds tight to her pouty, cinematic aesthetic: the epic schmaltz of Ennio Morricone, reflected through the haze of a thousand dramatic selfies.

Read our full review.

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