Oh Lana Del Rey – the amount of talk about this girl has been incredible. The most ridiculous part about it is that most of it has nothing to do with her music. Lana Del Rey, or Lizzy Grant, or Elizabeth Grant, is a New York girl dead set on the idea of being a pop star. Her debut album under her Lizzy Grant title went completely unnoticed. The failure led Grant to reinvent herself, in a very noticeable way. She not only changed her sound and label, but also her appearance and personality. A set of fake lips later, Lana Del Rey is surprisingly one of the most talked about names in the music community. Her latest record Born to Die has been highly anticipated by both those hoping to hear more from this girl or from those waiting to trash her. Enough about her; I’m not here to talk about whether she “sold out” or not, or whether she looks better now than she did before. I’m here to talk about what really matters – her music.
The main problem with Born to Die is the record’s vision. The whole “ghetto Nancy Sinatra” (whatever that means) thing is interesting at first, but it gets old fast. Del Rey rarely steps out of her comfort zone with this sound.
The first track “Born to Die” is a prime example of the sound that she is hoping to achieve. The production is very classy. The whole time it stays contained and mellow, with the violin strings in the foreground of the beat. Del Rey sings in a voice that sounds borderline bored “You and I, we were born to die.” At first the vision that she’s trying to create is pretty interesting; you may even think to yourself “Hey she doesn’t care at all, she’s super cool” and it is pretty cool, for a short period of time.
After one track the whole formula becomes tiring. She uses the same performance method for the majority of the record. Tracks like “Blue Jeans,” “Carmen” and “Video Games” bring nothing new to the table. The whole mid-tempo thing can get really boring, especially when the artist in question is of the pop genre, which should keep you entertained using any means necessary.
At the end of the day the problem with Born to Die is that it doesn’t have the chops to keep a fan of pop like myself entertained. Del Rey sticks way too close to her (or the label’s) vision of being the anti-pop star, pop star. She’s playing with a genre that should not be pretentious and serious. If I want something of the sort I can find tons of bands that do it better. I’ll keep watching her career from afar, as more and more people join her in her dream of being a pop star. However, for right now I can’t say I want to do much with it.