Review: Lana Del Rey – Born to Die
Published on March 13th, 2012 | Emily Green
Poor Lana Del Rey; it can’t be nice finally getting your moment in the spotlight and then having the world turn against you. But hey, we were born to die, so what happens in between being born and dying is all pretty futile. Or not, as the album may suggest; love is tough, and fame is tougher.
The thing with Lana is you can’t simply talk about her music without talking about her; the look, the history, that performance on Saturday Night Live. Along with most new artists emerging from the US, she isn’t just a musician, she’s a package designed for people like you and me to love, hate and debate. So let’s do it.
This is not just her debut but apparently also her last album, because she is not merely queen of the highway but queen of summarizing – “everything I wanted to say, I’ve said already” – right then, moving on. The album is a clear nod to America’s years gone by, her influences apparently ranging from the vocal ecstasy of Nina Simone to the lyrical captains Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan…and, erm, Britney Spears.
What sets Lana apart from other popular female solo artists is the large measure of sadness thrown into the pot along with bad boys, underage drinking, and some enticing trip-hop beats. This is an album for years of teenage crises, break ups, and those of us who just love our melancholic music to soundtrack tedious times.
Her lyrics are actually worth paying attention to (feminists please do so with caution); Lana seems to have pre-apprehended many a reaction and has her comebacks jewelled through the lyrics: “Just like you said, it’s all been done before / I don’t have to talk pretty for them no more”.
She just “wants to be the whole world’s girl”, and it looks like that wish has been granted by her fairy godmother. For anyone who cares, here is Lana – or Lizzie, rather – before the transformation. So while stylists can make her all cool and hipster, she has always had the reserved, ethereal performance style that she’s getting slated for. Give her a break and a have proper listen, or if you still wanna be hating, get a look at this.
Rocksucker says: Seven Quails out of Ten!
Born to Die is out now on Interscope Records, Polydor Records and Stranger Records. For more information, including a list of live dates, please visit www.lanadelrey.com