Album Review: Lana Del Rey – Born To Die

Lana Del Rey has grown a lot from very little in a short space of time; Lizzie Grant was almost unknown, but now her new persona has gone on to release a debut album that topped the charts in seven countries. Del Rey’s first single, ‘Video Games’, has a deep and meaningful feeling, her voice is gritty and emotional and is simply backed by a piano and strings, leaving the vocals to generate the song’s power. Unfortunately, the rest of ‘Born To Die’ doesn’t follow suit.

Although the album opens on a relativity high point with the title track, it progresses downhill quickly after that. It seems like the only subjects covered are money and men, and while the lyrics may talk of love, they feel synthetic. Songs like ‘Off To The Races’ and ‘Diet Mountain Dew’ employ false-sounding girly vocals that are far from Del Rey’s contralto voice in ‘Video Games’.

‘Born To Die’ is not to my taste thus I may be the wrong person to review it. Del Rey has moved from the beautiful pop of ‘Video Games’ towards R&B and has described herself as a ‘gangsta Nancy Sinatra’. To me, her debut album is a massive disappointment, it’s just the story of a girl’s shallow dreams.



3 thoughts on “Album Review: Lana Del Rey – Born To Die

  1. I think Lana is much more than someone who sings about money and men. It’s true some of her songs make her sound like a harlot(Off to the races, Lolita, National Anthem), but she also writes beautiful songs about love and growing as a human being(like Million Dollar Man or Lucky Ones). I think she focuses on the dark side of things, hence the constant talk about money and fame, but I think it’s mostly just an act. Many artists do this thing where they try to portray someone else because they want to convey that person’s feelings(for instance Marina & the Diamonds for her new album “Electra Heart” where she becomes a homewrecker, a primadonna and so on). This doesn’t mean the song has no deeper meaning. I think Lana’s music is much more significant that Rihanna’s, for example, and more complex. She’s not the best artist out there and people are generally conflicted about her, but I think “Born to die” is a great album. I don’t agree with the “gangsta Nancy Sinatra” thing, though, that’s stupid.

    Anyway, it was nice finding your blog, I subscribed!

    • I guess I agree. I am probably too biased to have reviewed the album; her music really doesn’t interest me. I spoke to a few friends after I wrote it, most of them agreed with me, though one person suggested that she is almost sarcastic while singing about money and men, and is basically mocking society. I can see where they are coming from, though at that stage I had spent so long writing it and listening to the album, I decided to leave it as the biased review it is.

      As with Marina & the Diamonds, I think her new ‘alter-ego’ that she seems to have created could be seen as a form of attention-seeking. Saying this, I do not like her music and have not actually listened to the whole album, so I am, yet again, being biased.

      Thanks for your comment and follow!

      • Yeah, Marina is probably trying to shock the audience a little with her new album, but I think she also grew as an artist in the process. Compared to her debut album, “Electra Heart” is more provocative. I think her transfiguration is similar to Lana’s, because they both became fierce sex kittens after creating an alter ego. There are many artists who create this alternated realities to fit their darker sides, but my favourite so far is Natasha Khan’s(from Bat for Lashes) Pearl.

        Also, it’s always nice to read someone else’s opinion on a subject I like, although they don’t agree. After all, music is subjective and, in this day and age, there are enough new bands to fit everyone’s taste.

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