Lana Del Rey : Born To Die

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Lana Del Rey : Born To Die


It’s always a concern when an artist’s image draws as much attention as their music. There’s no denying that New York songstress Lana Del Rey has been both perpetuator of and victim to such a fate. Del Rey’s ’50s inspired marriage of retro fashion and Hollywood glam has defined her as much as that sultry, husky voice. However, the greatest concern is that Del Rey’s major-label debut album – Born To Die – is a frustrating case of style over substance. Video Games and the title track present moving moments, but Del Rey’s expressions of pain and heartbreak sound contrived for the bulk of the record. 

Describing herself as the “gangsta Nancy Sinatra” with a “Lolita got lost in the ’hood” look proves that there is, indeed, a playfulness to Del Rey’s artistic persona, but it’s artificial without conviction and authenticity. A fondness for gangsta culture has led to a purported interest in the glamour of danger and the death of the wholesome American dream, but Del Rey’s “I feel the pain of life” shtick isn’t particularly compelling when expressed via adolescent diary entries, clichés and vacant eyes.

One is left wondering whether Del Rey is actually oblivious to her own shallow perspective or overestimating her tact when it comes to dark humour. Either way, Born To Die is only alluring on the surface and difficult to connect with emotionally. The saddest thing, though, is that she’s painted her female song characters with the same limitedness.


Best Track: Video Games

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