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Brooklyn Baby (song)

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BB cover
Lana Del Rey
Writer(s) Lana Del Rey
Barrie James O'Neill
Producer(s) Dan Auerbach
Released June 8, 2014
Length 5:52
From Ultraviolence logo
Single(s) "West Coast"
"Ultraviolence"
"Black Beauty"
Promotional single(s) "Shades of Cool"
"Ultraviolence"
"Brooklyn Baby"
Ultraviolence track listing
"West Coast"
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

"Brooklyn Baby" is a song by Lana Del Rey. It was written by Del Rey and her then-boyfriend, Barrie James O'Neill. It features as the fourth track on her second major-label studio album, Ultraviolence. The song was released as the third promotional single from the album on June 8, 2014, following "Shades of Cool" and "Ultraviolence". A music video was expected to be released, but it never happened.

CompositionEdit

"Brooklyn Baby" is a 5 minute 51 second long ballad playing at approximately 108 beats per minute in 4/4 and F minor. The song is influenced by rock and jazz - seen notably in the scatting that is present throughout the song. A plucky guitar riff is a prominent feature throughout the song and Del Rey's vocals are further backed by a bass line, drums and strings. Male backing vocals provided by Seth Kaufman, who also provides electric guitar and percussion on the track, feature on the last verse at the end of the song.

BackgroundEdit

On May 27, 2014, a snippet of the song was debuted alongside snippets of "Shades of Cool" and "Ultraviolence" in an iTunes exclusive promotional video. The video featured unused clips from the "West Coast" music video. Del Rey announced via Instagram that the track would serve as the third promotional single from Ultraviolence, coming out June 8. Del Rey said in an interview with The Guardian that she wrote the song with Lou Reed in mind. She was supposed to work with him and flew to New York City to meet him, but unfortunately he died the day she arrived, "I took the red eye, touched down at 7am … and two minutes later he died," she said.[1] He is referenced in the line "And my boyfriend's in a band, he plays guitar while I sing Lou Reed".

Critical receptionEdit

The song received critical acclaim. Miriam Coleman of Rolling Stone described it as a "dreamy song... with a breathy vocals and a melody before moving into Del Rey's typically languid, dreamy soundscape". Duncan Cooper of The Fader stated that "Brooklyn Baby" is the standout track of Ultraviolence, pointing out the "uncharacteristically self-assured gem", "Yeah, my boyfriend's pretty cool/ But he's not as cool as me".[2] Sharan Shetty of Slate complimented the melody of the song, however disliked the lack of "big, chewy vocal hooks".[3] The song was placed at number twenty two on Rolling Stone '​s 50 Best Songs of 2014 list.[4]

Commercial performanceEdit

The song had a modest success. It reached number 101 on US Billboard Hot 100, being number 1 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles[5] It peaked 35, 60, 6 in Australia, Canada and Finland respectively[6][7][8] In France, the song peaked number 33, in UK it reached number 86, and in New Zealand it debuted at 19.[9][10][11] In other European countries, "Brooklyn Baby" debuted at number 50, 87, 36, 16, 64 and 32 in Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium.[12][13][14][15][16][17] In Russia, the song reached number ten at the Digital Songs chart.[18]

Cross-referencesEdit

  • The phrase "brooklyn baby" is featured in the song "True Love on the Side".
  • Amphetamines are mentioned in the title of the song "Methamphetamines".
  • Del Rey implies she is a jazz singer as she does in "Ultraviolence" and "Dum Dum".
  • Del Rey's boyfriend being in a band is prevalent in her lyrics, such as in "Is It Wrong", "Match Made In Heaven" and "Big Bad Wolf", among others.
  • Clear references to the Beat Generation in lyrics such as: "Beat poetry on amphetamines", "I get down to Beat poetry" and "if you don't like it, you can beat it; beat it, baby". Jazz also refers to that "generation [...] that newer nation", and so does "the Freedomland of the 70s"
  • "You're blind, I see" echoes "I can see but once I was blind" in "Born to Die", and "I was blind before I saw the world through your eyes" from "TV In Black & White"

LyricsEdit

They say I'm too young to love you
I don't know what I need
They think I don't understand
The Freedomland of the 70s
 
I think I'm too cool to know ya
You say I'm like the ice, I freeze
I'm churning out novels like
Beat poetry on amphetamines

I said, I said

Well, my boyfriend's in a band
He plays guitar while I sing Lou Reed
I've got feathers in my hair
I get down to Beat poetry
And my jazz collection's rare
I can play most anything
I'm a Brooklyn baby
I'm a Brooklyn baby

They say I'm too young to love you
They say I'm too dumb to sing
They judge me like a picture book
By the colors, like they forgot to read
 
I think we're like fire and water
I think we're like the wind and sea
You're burning up, I'm cooling down
You're up, I'm down, you're blind, I see
 
But I'm free, I'm free

Well, my boyfriend's in a band
He plays guitar while I sing Lou Reed
I've got feathers in my hair
I get down to Beat poetry
And my jazz collection's rare
I can play most anything
I'm a Brooklyn baby
I'm a Brooklyn baby
 
I'm talking 'bout my generation
Talking 'bout that newer nation
And if you don't like it
You can beat it, beat it, baby
 
You never liked the way I said it
If you don't get it, then forget it
'Cause I don't have to fucking explain it
 
And my boyfriend's in a band
He plays guitar while I sing Lou Reed
I've got feathers in my hair
I get high on hydroponic weed
And my jazz collection's rare
I get down to Beat poetry
I'm a Brooklyn baby
I'm a Brooklyn baby

Yeah, my boyfriend's pretty cool
But he's not as cool as me
'Cause I'm a Brooklyn baby
I'm a Brooklyn baby

Credits Edit

Personnel

  • Written by Lana Del Rey & Barrie James O'Neill.
  • Vocals by Lana Del Rey.
  • Produced by Dan Auerbach.
  • Engineered by Collin Dupuis.
  • Mixed by Robert Orton at Hot Rocks Studios.
  • Electric guitar by Dan Auerbach.
  • Drums & upright bass by Nick Movshon.
  • Tambourine, mellotron, percussion & tenor sax by Leon Michaels.
  • Acoustic guitar by Kenny Vaughan.
  • Electric guitar, percussion, background vocals by Seth Kaufman.
  • Acoustic guitar & pedal steel Russ Pahl.
  • Drums by Maximilian Weissenfeldt.
  • Mastered by John Davis at Metropolis Studios, London.

ChartsEdit

Chart (2017) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA) 35
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40) 62
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia) 32
Canada (Canadian Hot 100) 60
Finland Download (Suomen virallinen latauslista) 6
France (SNEP) 33
Italy (FIMI) 50
Netherlands (Single Top 100) 87
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) 19
Russian Digital Songs (Lenta) 10
Spain (PROMUSICAE) 36
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) 16
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 86
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard) 12

ReferencesEdit

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/jun/12/lana-del-rey-ultraviolence-album
  2. http://www.thefader.com/2014/06/04/lana-del-rey-cover-interview/
  3. http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2014/06/08/lana_del_rey_shares_brooklyn_baby_hear_the_singer_s_new_song_off_forthcoming.html
  4. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/50-best-songs-of-2014-20141203/lana-del-rey-brooklyn-baby-20141202
  5. http://www.billboard.com/artist/306420/lana-del-rey/chart?f=344
  6. http://www.australian-charts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Brooklyn+Baby&cat=s
  7. http://www.billboard.com/artist/306420/Lana+Del+Rey/chart?f=793
  8. http://www.ifpi.fi/tilastot/virallinen-lista/artistit/Lana+Del+Rey/Brooklyn+Baby
  9. http://www.lescharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Brooklyn+Baby&cat=s
  10. http://www.officialcharts.com/archive-chart/_/1/2014-06-28/
  11. http://www.charts.org.nz/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Brooklyn+Baby&cat=s
  12. http://www.fimi.it/classifiche#{%22id%22:1866,%22s%22:%223%22}
  13. http://www.dutchcharts.nl/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Brooklyn+Baby&cat=s
  14. http://www.spanishcharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Brooklyn+Baby&cat=s
  15. http://www.swisscharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Brooklyn+Baby&cat=s
  16. http://www.austriancharts.at/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Brooklyn+Baby&cat=s
  17. http://www.ultratop.be/fr/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Brooklyn+Baby&cat=s
  18. http://lenta.ru/news/2014/06/16/itunes/


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