Rapid Reviews – Lana Del Rey – Born To Die

Lana Del Rey - Born To Die Album Review VPME

On a personal level you could certainly understand Lana Del Rey if she disagreed with the epigram “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” It’s difficult to think of a singer who has had to endure such a vitriolic backlash before having even released an album and it must be said, much of the abuse has gone way beyond the pale. Indeed the bafflingly popular “alternative celebrity” site Hipster Runoff appears to have developed such an unhealthy obsession with attacking Del Rey that it’s re-branded itself “The Lana Del Rey Report” (which is, lets be honest, more about generating web traffic than anything else.)  Sadly the rise of  these “attack sites” which attempt to mimic the success of celebrity shitemeister extraordinaire, Perez Hilton, and who all essentially lick toilet seats for a living, prove that nastiness can be a lucrative career choice and that the public have become inured to this kind of poisonous enmity. These sites encourage the virtual lynch mob mentality by dehumanising their  victims and in doing so make  it easier for others to attack them, obviating the need for the bovine herd to consider the consequences of their actions . But all bullies need enablers …..

Schadenfreude seems to be the drug of choice and Del Reys faltering performance on Saturday Night Live gave her critics yet more ammunition to unleash another tsunami of bile in her direction ahead of her début album “Born To Die.” But now for the bad news, sadly for her critics LDR has produced a début album that whilst being heavily stylised and slickly produced, is none the less, hugely enjoyable. She plays the role of the emotionally bruised Lynchian femme fatale with some aplomb leading the listener through vignettes of doomed love and faded glamour, set against a vision of  pop noire trash can Americana,  based she says, on her own adolescent experiences. Not all of it works, there are one or two tracks which sound like anaemic retreads of the haunting “Video Games” and she sounds at her most unconvincing when mired in derivative hip hop beats (you can almost hear the record label suits imploring- “Give it a bit of Beyonce, Lana“) However when she hits her stride on tracks such as  the honey cracked  “ Radio”, the smokily seductive “ Million Dollar Man” and the gorgeous “Summertime Sadness” the results are hugely impressive.

If you tend to take hype with a large pinch of salt, are not in the slightest bit interested as to whether she’s had any ‘enhancements’ or not , and are not completely obsessed with the mythical holy grail of authenticity, you may be able to accept  “Born To Die” for what it is, a beautifully produced slice of nostalgic  pop that is infinitely more interesting than  Lady Ga-Ga‘s  egregious caterwauling or Rhianna’s joyless dry humping. Let’s face it, if all pop sounded this good Simon Cowell would be positively shitting his incongruous high riding trousers.  That dear readers can only be a good thing.

8/10

5 comments

  1. Foxy Locks · January 30, 2012

    Agree. The stuff written about LDR is nonsense which people would lay off her. Relief that album is good x

  2. 924collective · February 1, 2012

    If you don’t understand the backlash, maybe a closer look underneath all the bubble gum persona & imagery, will reveal a more realistic view of what it takes to “MAKE IT” in the industry. the plastic surgery will be the least of your worries, I assure you. I’m not a hater but an Educator. There is more than meets the eye.

    PEACE. LOVE. & ENLIGHTENMENT MY FRIENDS

    http://924collective.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/2012/lizzie-grant/

  3. Andy Von Pip · February 1, 2012

    I like a good conspiracy theory …but y’know, this is a bit barking no ? Mind control sex slaves ?

    Think I’ll stick with proven facts with LDR.

    I understand the backlash, I just don’t agree with the disproportionate scale of it …It’s shrill, hysterical, misogynist mewling from hipsters who discovered she is not quite the gal they wanted her to be! And now they go about like spurned lovers, twisted with rage, that they were duped, the cool kids who said they’d never fall for the hype !… and most of it isn’t even about the music!

    Ok so somebody created a pop personae, WOW, like that’s never happened before ? Somebody span a back story, in like the POP world , Oh My, how awful ! Somebody had label backing – and used like REAL musicians in a studio, like with a producer and shit ? GASP! As for the other theories, I’ll call nurse shall I ?

    if you’re looking for real” authenticity ” I suggest you take a stroll down death row and maybe record some real “blues.” If you want entertainment, which is essentially what LDR is then this does the job just fine. There are plenty of musical flavours out there, including Fake D.I.Y.

  4. Charbarred · February 2, 2012

    I think the first couple of singles had people expecting a serious album. While there’s nothing wrong with pop music, there aren’t many credible albums in the mainstream these days, and that’s why everyone is so disappointed with the LDR record.
    No one’s expecting Rhianna or Lady Gaga to produce anything worthwhile but I think most people were taking LDR a bit more seriously.
    It’s still an enjoyable album, but there are plenty of those to go around.

    • Andy Von Pip · February 8, 2012

      I really don’t think the albums any great leap away from the singles in terms of sonics or tone.

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