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Sugar Venom Lana
Born To Die - Lana Del Rey
Member Name: cyberem78
Born To Die - Lana Del Rey
Advantages: The whole album is great.
I first encountered Lana Del Rey when I heard the title track of her album being played on radio. I had not heard such a unique voice in a very long time and the style of her music was also curious and new. After the song was finished playing the DJ commented that he could not stand listening to Lana's voice. I've since read many reviews of Lana's music which have been less than complimentary and it seems like you either really really love her or really, really hate her - and I mean not just her vocals or her musical style but her entire presentation of herself as an artist.
'Born to Die' is the debut album by Lana Del Rey and it was released in early 2012. It was released to much hype and even before it was released Lana was big news. I feel that part of the backlash against her might be to do with the extraordinary amount of expectation involved in regards to her musical imput in culture. There is also a huge deal made from the fact that Lana is a 'plastic' artist with a new name and a new face, masquerading as a poor wannabe when in fact she might have had a rich daddy. To me, and I'm sure all of Lana's fans, her carefully manufactured identity is simply the perfect comment on today's society and the ideologies that fashion our existences. I'm pretty sure Lana knows this too. What's really important though is her music and I have to say that 'Born To Die' is my favourite album in a long time.
The title track of the album is perhaps the most commercial of all of the tracks and it has a slightly different feel to the rest of the album. It's dramatic and all reaching. It showcases Lana's voice at it's most deep and drawling delivery. At some points she seems to be drunk whilst delivering the lines. The orchestral background mixed with Moby-esque electronics is an unsual blend. The lyrics have an apocolyptic, self-drestructive theme which are fascinating and seem perfectly fitted to the youth of today.
'Off To The Races' has a strange 1960's delicacy and urban hip-hop blend. Lana's voice is very expressive here and she sounds as though she is revelling in ecstasy during her delivery. The chorus has a dark soul which is chilling but sweet.
'Blue Jeans' is a sleepy, intoxicating song that makes me feel like I'm living in a David Lynch movie. Lots of romance and sexuality in this track.
'Video Games' is a slow paced song that feels quite dreamy and heaven-sent. The music is touched by the honey sweetness of harps and gentle drums. The lyrics are intelligent and emotional.
'Diet Mountain Dew' is a catchy, unforgettable track. The lyrics reveal a sense of a gritty, youthful lifestyle that is familiar to a certain class and sector of society. I find myself singing the chorus frequently!
'National Anthem' - this is one of my favourite tracks on the album. It's musical structure is similar to 'Born to Die' but it's slightly more upbeat with an Ayn Rand attitude to capital being exploited or at least explored in the lyrics. There is a lot of depth, intelligence and daring involced in addressing themes such as politics, economy and race. Great track and the official video digs even deeper - check out her ghetto version of the US presidency.
'Dark Paradise' is another great track which has a bewitching power to seduce and hypnotise. The dark, sultry voice combined with poetic lyrics is a perfect combination.
'Radio' blends a chilling verse with a funky, fashionable chorus. The persona of the song, a successful singer, is both arrogant and thankful for her position in life. There is some explicit lyrics but they fit well and feel appropriate to the urban colours of the music.
'Carmen' weaves a tragic story about a character called Carmen who feels like a jaded old star or a washed up drug addled young starlet. It's a sad and eerie song.
'Million Dollar Man' makes me feel like I'm sinking into a whirlpool of music and dreams. It has an old fashioned feel (think Porgy and Bess) with dangerous, modern lyrics. Lana sings this like a crazy, tipsy lover.
'Summertime Sadness' is a beautiful song that feels like it has captured the soul of a summer's evening. The lyrics paint a rich picture whilst the delivery is honest and expressive. The song feels more commercial than some of the other tracks on the album.
'This is What Makes Us Girls' has great lyrics which revel in rebellion. The lyrics refer to a kind of gang mentality and youthful freedom which is exciting and nostalgic. This track feels like it has shades of Justin Timberlake in the musical composition.
There isn't one track I dislike on the album and it's constantly playing on my ipod. I recommend the deluxe album which features three more tracks which are just as good as any on the original album version. I particularly like 'Lucky Ones'. Lana Del Rey is the artist of 2012 in my opinion. Her music and her vocals don't sound like anyone else around right now and that's so refreshing. She's a true artist.
Summary: A fantastic album.