Album Review

Born To Die

Born To Die

by Lana Del Rey


Universal
3 / 10
2nd March 2012

Reviewed by Janine Harrison


Everyone wants to know all about pouting sensation Lana Del Rey, aka Lizzie Grant. Her debut single ‘Video Games’ became a breakthrough hit in 2011 and rumours of her past incarnations and pseudonymic transformation have been keeping the pop bloggers in business. Speculation aside, ‘Video Games’ is a dramatic, expert pop single, thus as anticipation – fueled by internet chatter – built around her debut album release, the question became: is Lana Del Rey a one hit wonder?

There’s no denying her voice - a half-Lolita, half-sixties Las Vegas diva croon - and she certainly looks the part, recently being signed to Next Model Agency. But there is a reason you can’t discuss Lana Del Rey without mentioning her looks or general aesthetic and that reason becomes increasingly apparent on Born To Die – quite frankly, her songs suck.

Her lyrics fall between lovesick kindergarten poetry (You said I was the most exotic flower / Holding me tight in our final hour – ‘Million Dollar Man’) or name dropping, nauseating wannabe rap (God, you're so handsome / Take me to the Hamptons / Bugatti Veyron - ‘National Anthem’). It also doesn’t help that the music is so unmemorable it’s virtually background noise; or that by the third song Lana’s little girl lost voice begins to sound more Minnie Mouse than Marilyn Monroe. This is bland at its blandest and no amount of pouting will change that fact.

The most offensive part of Lana Del Ray is that she promised substance. At least popstars like Kei$ha and Katy Perry are having fun, well aware their musical career is as short as their clothes and talent. She’s playing the part of a Nancy Sinatra-esque femme fatale because the powers that be have decided there’s a vacancy in pop land for sultry 1950s throwbacks, which would have been fine if the mechanisms weren’t hidden beneath professions of originality through self-made video clips.

There’s no denying ‘Video Games’ is a great pop song and ‘Blue Jeans’ isn’t bad either but Born to Die as a whole is a terrible album and demonstrates that Lana Del Rey is all show and little substance.




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