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Shades of Cool

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"Shades of Cool"
Lana Del Rey - Shades of Cool.png
Single by Lana Del Rey
from the album Ultraviolence
Released May 26, 2014 (2014-05-26)
Format Digital download
Genre Blues rock[1]
Length 5:42
Producer(s) Dan Auerbach
Lana Del Rey singles chronology
"West Coast"
"Shades of Cool"
"West Coast"
"Shades of Cool"
Music video
"Shades Of Cool" on YouTube

"Shades of Cool" is a song by American singer and songwriter Lana Del Rey, taken from her third studio album, Ultraviolence (2014). It was written by Del Rey and Rick Nowels, and produced by Dan Auerbach, the song was released on May 26, 2014 by Interscope Records as the second single from Ultraviolence. Lyrically, the single talks about an "unfixable" man.

"Shades of Cool" received general acclaim from music critics, who praised its musical style. A few of whom opined that the track would be appropriate for a James Bond film. Commercially, the single peaking at number 79 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and entered the top-40 of a few record charts, including Belgium, France, Italy, and Spain. A music video for "Shades of Cool" was directed by Jake Nava and was described as a film noir visual.


"Shades of Cool" was written by Del Rey and Rick Nowels, and produced by Dan Auerbach.[2] Composed in the key of D minor, the song runs at a moderate slow tempo of 46 beats per minute,[3] it was described as a waltz instrumented by "slow-burn" bassline, guitar, and string instruments; the track features a guitar solo delivered by Auerbach.[4][5][6] Del Rey's vocals span from A3 to B5.[3] Her "operatic" soprano vocals blending with "trademark wailing vibrato" create a ghostly atmosphere on "Shades of Cool".[4][5] Chris Coplan from Consequence of Sound described the song as "a slow and slightly gloomy ballad."[7] Meanwhile, "Shades of Cool" was characterized as a "seeping, atmospheric" ballad that contrasts the more "pop-savvy swaggering 'West Coast'" by Billboard's Colin Stutz.[8] On the single, Del Rey sings about an "unfixable" man: "But you are unfixable / I can’t break through your world / ‘Cause you live in shades of cool / Your heart is unbreakable."


"Shades of Cool" received positive reviews from music critics. Coplan of Consequence of Sound complimented the song for its "grace and sophistication".[7] 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.[6] Likewise, Rolling Stone's Calyn Ganz wrote that the track "would be perfect for a James Bond film directed by Quentin Tarantino."[5] 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".[9]

The single peaked at number 79 on the US Billboard Hot 100.[10] It managed to enter the top 40 of a few record charts: Belgian Wallonia (number 40),[11] France (number 37),[12] Hungary (number 19),[13] and Spain (number 31),[14] the single peaked at number three on the Greece Digital Songs, a chart operated by Billboard magazine.[15]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Shades of Cool" was directed by Jake Nava and was released on June 17, 2014,[16] the video features tattoo artist Mark Mahoney, who also appeared in the music video for "West Coast", as Del Rey's love interest.[17] Filmed in Los Angeles, California, the clip is a "romantic" film noir visual depicting the streets of Los Angeles at night, a 1970s-themed neighborhood, and a pool;[16][18] in the video, Del Rey dances for her love interest in "flowing" dresses.[16] An alternative version of the visual for "Shades of Cool", which was also directed by Nava, was released in July 2014, this version, in which Del Rey is seen dead, was described as "darker" than the original video.[19]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[20]
  1. "Shades of Cool" – 5:42

Credits and Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Ultraviolence.[2]

Performance credits
Technical and production


Chart (2014) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[21] 50
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[11] 40
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[22] 52
Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100)[23] 79
Greece Digital Songs (Billboard)[15] 3
France (SNEP)[12] 37
Hungary (Single Top 40)[13] 19
Italy (FIMI)[24] 35
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[14] 31
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[25] 43
US Billboard Hot 100[10] 79

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
Belgium[26] May 26, 2014 Digital download Universal Music Group
United States[20] Interscope Records


  1. ^ http://www.
  2. ^ a b Ultraviolence (booklet). Lana Del Rey. London, United Kingdom; Santa Monica, California: Polydor Records, Interscope Records. 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Lana Del Rey 'Shades Of Cool' Sheet Music". EMI Music Publishing. Retrieved December 17, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Kelly, Caitlin (June 23, 2014). "A new shade of cool on Lana Del Rey album". The Daily Californian. Retrieved December 17, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c Ganz, Caryn (June 20, 2014). "Ultraviolence". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Shetty, Sharan (May 26, 2014). "Lana Del Rey's New Song Is a Beautiful, Brooding Return to Form". Slate. Retrieved May 26, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Listen: Lana Del Rey’s new song 'Shades of Cool'". Consequence of Sound. May 26, 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2014. 
  8. ^ Stutz, Colin (May 26, 2014). "Lana Del Rey Debuts New Song 'Shades of Cool': Listen". Billboard. Retrieved May 26, 2014. 
  9. ^ Lathan, Ryan (June 16, 2014). "Lana Del Rey: Ultraviolence". PopMatters. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Lana Del Rey – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Lana Del Rey. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  11. ^ a b " – Lana Del Rey – Shades of Cool" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  12. ^ a b " – Lana Del Rey – Shades of Cool" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  13. ^ a b "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  14. ^ a b " – Lana Del Rey – Shades of Cool" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  15. ^ a b "June 14, 2014 – Greece Digital Songs". Billboard. Retrieved June 6, 2014.  (subscription required)
  16. ^ a b c Blacklow, Jeremy (June 18, 2014). "Lana Del Rey Releases New Film Noir Music Video for 'Shades of Cool'". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  17. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (June 18, 2014). "Lana Del Rey's 'Shades Of Cool' Video". Billboard. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  18. ^ Martins, Chris (June 17, 2014). "Watch Lana Del Rey's Bewitching, Surreal 'Shades of Cool' Video". Spin. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  19. ^ Erlich, Brenna (July 1, 2014). "Lana Del Rey Dies In The New Version Of The ‘Shades Of Cool’ Video". MTV News. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  20. ^ a b " Shades Of Cool: Lana Del Rey". Archived from the original on May 28, 2014. 
  21. ^ " – Lana Del Rey – Shades of Cool". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  22. ^ "Lana Del Rey – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Lana Del Rey. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  23. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Digital Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201426 into search. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  24. ^ "Top Digital - WK 22 (dal 2014-05-26 al 2014-06-01)" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved April 4, 2015. 
  25. ^ " – Lana Del Rey – Shades of Cool". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved June 15, 2014.
  26. ^ "Shades Of Cool (2014) | Lana Del Rey". 7digital Belgium. Retrieved December 9, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Shades Of Cool (2014) | Lana Del Rey". 7digital France. Retrieved December 9, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Shades Of Cool (2014) | Lana Del Rey". 7digital Luxembourg. Retrieved December 9, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Shades Of Cool (2014) | Lana Del Rey". 7digital Portugal. Retrieved December 9, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Shades Of Cool (2014) | Lana Del Rey". 7digital Spain. Retrieved December 9, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Shades Of Cool (2014) | Lana Del Rey". 7digital Switzerland. Retrieved December 9, 2014. 

External links[edit]