So this is gonna be kind of a weird post. Yeah, you heard me. It’s about to get a little weird up in here. You’re probably wondering how weird does it have to get before T of V acknowledges something is weird?
The answer: Pretty fucking weird.
The title of this post is not a trick. I’m really going to talk about Lana del Rey. And is it going to be ironic? Sarcastic? A little. But I’m calling attention to this for the strangest of all possible reasons.
I actually like this chick’s album. I’ve listened to it at least four times. No, I didn’t buy it. But I enjoy it. The lyrics crack me up and I like the old-style torch singing update thing she does. Some other day I’ll post a shit-ton of the lyrics for the benefit of those who haven’t heard them.
In regards to my taste in music, let me tell you a little more about myself. I don’t usually go for current pop music. It leaves me cold. I prefer stuff from other eras. David Bowie, Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush are among my favorite singers. I love the progressive groups like Pink Floyd, Yes and King Crimson. I listen to a lot of jazz, particularly Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock. I don’t mind pop songs here and there, though. I like Miley’s Wrecking Ball, but not that one she did before it where she wouldn’t fucking stop. I also like Blurred Lines a little.
But I really like Lana del Rey’s Born to Die album. Yeah, she’s kind of a retro singer like Adele or Winehouse. The pop cheese is thick on Lana, though, and still I like this album. Mainly, I think, because Lana’s got some great, big balls. Are we sure she’s not a dude in drag?
This bitch just full-out gets her freak on. The lyrics are killer. I mean, how come Pepsi hasn’t inundated the adsphere with commercials around Lana’s line “My pussy tastes like Pepsi-Cola?” They should have jumped all over that.
The production on the album is a kind of hip/hop torch singer hybrid thing. It’s orchestral with beats. Lana loves minor chords and dramatic transitions. Most of the time it works fine. The songs are pretty much all epic and fucked up.
I mean, the characters in these tunes are FFFFUUUUCCCCKKKKKEEEEDDDD UUUUUUPPPPPP. Big time.
Critics have really blasted Lana for her lyrics in particular. Personally, I think she’s funny as hell. But I get the joke. Do teenage girls get the joke? ‘Cos on the flip side of the critics laughing her off, there are seemingly millions of impressionable youth who think Lana del Rey is an emotional role model.
(It’s vaguely possible that Lana is not joking. In that case, the joke’s on me, I guess.)
The characters in Lana’s songs are typically melodramatic, abusive, abused, oversexed, violent, hysterical, damaged but fantastic. She absolutely revels in the chaotic and destructive aspects of human behavior, especially in the case of love and/or sex. She thinks these are intertwined. Lana loves to wallow in pain and angst. And if you love the wrong person well enough, you will die a horrible but awesome death. That’s your reward!
And I’m dying when I listen to these songs, ‘cos she goes all-in, man. I don’t know if in her real life she really believes the crazy shit she sings about, but she seems to believe the shit while she’s singing it.
But I think she gets the joke. I might be wrong, but….
She can’t be so dumb that she doesn’t get it, right? Lana plays a teenager in most of her songs, but she’s in the dark half of her twenties so she can’t plead innocence. She gets it.
I’m not with the critics on this one: I think the album is really interesting. Their main bitch about Lana seems to be that they don’t believe she’s for real. Some even complain about her psedonym. (Yeah, Lana del Rey’s not her name, it’s Elizabeth Grant. And Born to Die isn’t really her first album. It’s just Lana’s first.) But I don’t give a fuck about that. What performers are “real”? They’re all performing, aren’t they? All performers create a “persona”. That’s a deliberate thing to make separation between the performance and their real life.
Critics also find the topics of the songs blatant and cliche. That’s kind of justified. Just about every bad girl persona is caricatured in the songs. The title of the album could have been: Hey, Girls. Don’t Do This.
I’ve just got a feel for Lana del Rey. She wanted to create this chic, yet trashy persona. The bad girl with a heart on fire for the destructive boy. Or, worse, the loser boy who wants to just play video games and doesn’t pay her the attention she wants and deserves. Lana, or the characters in her songs anyway, will do about anything to get the wrong guy’s love.
I’m just waiting on the next batch of demented ballads now to see what crazy road she’s going to go down next. It’s been put out there that Lana has had problems writing songs for a new album. She says “My muse is fickle.” But now, the title has been announced: Ultra-violence. And a new short film is on YouTube called Tropico. I’ll watch it when I watch it.
Lana del Rey, keep bringing the crazy. I don’t care if it’s real, fake, crass manipulation or brilliant satire. It’s fucking funny as hell.
Damn right I do….