>> Lana Del Rey: Born To Die (Deluxe Version) (2012)

Artist: Lana Del Rey

Album: Born To Die

Genre: Pop

Label: Interscope

Tracks: 15

Type: LP

Release Date: January 31, 2012

Discs: 1

Rating: 1.85 (out of 4.00)

Grade: C-

Official Site


Has been singing in Brooklyn since 17.

The name Lana Del Rey has come across my news reader quite a few times in the past month or so. The only thing I knew about Del Rey is that she was a pop singer or something to that effect. When I found her album, Born To Die, in my work pile I threw it on my Winamp Player without knowing what to expect. Was it going to be straight Lady Gaga style pop or was it going to be Kelly Clarkson type pop? Here’s what I found.

Opening up the album is the title track Born To Die which begins with a sweeping string section followed by some laid back beats and samples that reminded me a bit of some lo-fi trip-hop outfits like Portishead or The Blood Group. Del Rey’s vocals are very low tone with a jazzy blues like swagger, think Mazzy Star, which gets you interested in hearing more of the album right off the bat. Unfortunately what comes next is a flailing attempt at rap which simply opened the flood gates of my cynicism.

I have an account over at Last.FM and one of the features found there is their Scrobble app which pops up whenever you play something in one of your designated media players. Inside of its window it gives you all kinds of information from the artist to their albums, origins, and links to buy their stuff. It’s very informative. In the Scrobble profile for Del Rey it quotes her listing influences from Allen Ginsburg to Nirvana to Britney Spears to Iggy Pop. I’m not one to talk, my musical tastes are all over the map, but when it comes to Born To Die it simply feels like Del Rey is attempting to fit in on several different aspects of the music world, even when she obviously isn’t capable of pulling it off. It leaves the albums overall impression that it wants to be a little something for everyone and in most cases that’s impossible.

What I can say about Del Rey is that she has a beautiful voice that, if disciplined and taken a bit more seriously, could amount to something rather fantastic. As an artist her effort here feels a bit underachieving. Lyrically she sounds a bit immature, again trying to provide her listeners with exactly what she thinks they want to hear or exactly what it will take to garner a few radio hits. Style is all over the map. I hear a bit of Nina Persson in there, some Sleigh Bells, and just an overall hit radio pop influence. There’s most definitely talent there but Born To Die just about sums up the album. As always final judgment is yours. Enjoy. 




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