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"Shades of Cool" is a song by Lana Del Rey written with Rick Nowels and produced by Dan Auerbach. It is featured on Del Rey's second major-label studio album Ultraviolence, and was released as the first promotional single from the album on May 26, 2014.
On May 23, 2014, various music streaming sites announced that "Shades of Cool" would be debuted on May 26 as the first promotional single from the album, Ultraviolence. The artwork for the single was released alongside the news that it would be a promotional single.
An unmixed version leaked on November 10, 2020.
The track is in F♯ major with a time signature of 6/8 and a tempo of approximately 49 beats per minute. Del Rey sings using the higher part of her register, a departure from most of her music since Born to Die.
"Shades of Cool" received general acclaim from music critics. Coplan of Consequence of Sound complimented the song for its "grace and sophistication". Saran Shetty of Slate called "Shades of Cool" "a beautiful, brooding return to form [for Del Rey]", and opined that the single would "fit perfectly" in a James Bond theme track. Likewise, Rolling Stone 's Calyn Ganz wrote that the track "would be perfect for a James Bond film directed by Quentin Tarantino." Lathan Ryan from PopMatters positively compared Del Rey's vocals on "Shades of Cool" to those of Cocteau Twins vocalist Elizabeth Fraser, observing that "Del Rey has never sounded better".
|Released||June 17, 2014|
|Location||Los Angeles, California|
|Vevo views||79+ Million views|
|Released||July 1, 2014|
|Location||Los Angeles, California|
On June 12, 2014, Del Rey posted a preview of the video on Instagram. The video was uploaded to YouTube and Vevo on June 17, 2014. The video was filmed in Los Angeles in May and stars celebrity tattoo artist Mark Mahoney who previously appeared in the music video for "West Coast". On July 1, 2014, music video director Jake Nava released a director's cut version of the video. The video was picked up by many online news sources, and includes extra shots of the pool and dancing scenes with Mahoney. The director's cut version is 5:42 long and contains most of the same shots in the officially released video. The original music video ending featured a deleted scene of Del Rey drowning, compared to the released version.
The video opens with Mahoney looking at the camera as a scene of an LA street at night fades in. Del Rey starts singing over shots of Mahoney driving a car before she appears superimposed over various dark blue plants and flowers, with the colors on her distorted and blurring. During the chorus, the scene with Del Rey shows red fireworks and birds while Mahoney is shown with blue shooting stars.
In the second verse, Del Rey walks down a street of LA in the daytime and sees Mahoney getting into his car. He notices her but gets in anyway.
In the next scene Del Rey swims by Mahoney by the glass side of a swimming pool as Mahoney crosses himself. Del Rey is then seen dancing in a living room while Mahoney drinks. Del Rey eats a strawberry then drinks and smokes in the pool while in another scene she playfully hugs and dances with Mahoney. She gets out of the pool as the shot references Marilyn Monroe in Something's Got to Give.
The video ends with a shot of Mahoney pulling a happy Del Rey off the floor into an embrace in reverse.
Photoshoot by Neil Krug
- The songs theme of failing to change a lover is also found in "Afraid" and "Backfire".
- A Chevy is also mentioned in "Hundred Dollar Bill", "Every Man Gets His Wish", "Heartshaped Chevrolet" and "On Our Way".
- California is also mentioned in "Freak" and the song of the same name.
- The colour blue is mentioned in "Honeymoon", "Old Money", "The Blackest Day", "Video Games" and "Your Girl", among many other songs.
- Del Rey mentions a relationship with a man who loves drugs in "Pretty When You Cry" and "Cruel World".
- Calling for someone is also mentioned in "Old Money".
- Malibu is the original title of "Get Free".
- Hot weather is also mentioned in "Heroin" and "Salvatore".
- Jazz is also mentioned in "Fuck It I Love You" and "Salvatore".
- Drugs are also mentioned in "Cruel World", "Heroin", "Florida Kilos", "Yayo" and "Hollywood", among some other songs.
- Peace is also mentioned in "Yes to Heaven" and the song of the same name.
- Album version — 5:42
- Instrumental version — 5:40
- Unmixed version – 5:44
- Lana Del Rey — vocals, songwriting
- Rick Nowels — songwriting
- Dan Auerbach — production, electric guitar
- Collin Dupuis — engineering, drum programming
- Robert Orton — mixing
- Nick Movshon — electric bass
- Leon Michaels — mellotron
- Kenny Vaughan & Russ Pahl — electric guitar
- Seth Kaufman — Omnichord
- Maximilian Weissenfeldt — drums
- John Davis — mastering
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)||40|
|Canada (Billboard Hot 100)||52|
|Czech Republic Digital Singles (ČNS IFPI)||79|
|Greece Digital Songs (Billboard)||3|
|Hungary (Single Top 40)||19|
|Russian Top Radio Hits (Tophit)||207|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||43|
|US Billboard Hot 100||79|
- Coplan, Chris (May 25, 2014). "Listen to Lana Del Rey's New Song 'Shades of Cool'". Consequence of Sound. [Access date: March 15, 2017]
- Shetty, Sharan (May 26, 2014). "Lana Del Rey's New Song Is a Beautiful, Brooding Return to Form". Slate. [Access date: March 15, 2017]
- Ganz, Caryn (June 20, 2014). "Lana Del Rey - 'Ultraviolence' Album Review". Rolling Stone. [Access date: March 15, 2017]
- Lathan, Ryan (June, 2014). "Lana Del Rey: Ultraviolence". PopMatters. [Access date: March 15, 2017]
- (June 12, 2014). "Lana Del Rey on Instagram: 'Shades'". Instagram. [Access date: March 15, 2017]