If there are two things the internet do really well is build things up and tear them down; usually in successive order of the same thing. And possibly the thing that got hyped more and destroyed harder on the internet at the fastest rate was Lana Del Rey. Everyone online was quick to jump on the weird retro do it yourself music video for Video Games where Del Rey glamed it up while her husky voice provided the soundtrack. Personally I thought she sounded like a boring version of Amy Winehouse so I did not give her much attention. Then she appeared as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live.
And nearly broke the internet in the process with her drugged out performance, complete with trembling voice and weird ticks. Was it the single worst performance ever in the history of the late night show? Of course not, it is not as if acid reflux made her do a jig while her band played the wrong backing track. But the backlash was on. It did not help she went from the grainy footage of Video Games and followed it up with the very glossy video for Born to Die which saw her shining in some grand cathedral flanked by a pair of tiger. And some of the attacks were just silly like her changing her name from Lizzy Grant at the same time Ziggy Stardust was on the cover of the Rolling Stone thirty years later (and even David Bowie still is not his real name). Or how she went from white trash persona to Hollywood chic or that it turns out she comes from the one percent. (Though I am not entirely convinces that Lizzy Grant is not also a persona and she is really just teen pop star JoJo all grown up because they look strikingly similar).
Personally I could care less about all that stuff as long as the music is listenable. Unfortunately Born to Die is not. It is striking how amateurish Del Rey sounds thought the disk. She wildly goes from note to note, octave to octave without any sense of cohesiveness nor does it sounds like she cares, one of those too cool for school types, and the lyrics seem as carelessly written. It is never a good sign when you are listening to a song and it makes you think of the musical episode of Community where Annie Edison tries to woo Jeff in a pseudo Santa Baby type song. But that is exactly where my mind went when I heard Off to the Races where Del Rey cooed the exact same way as Annie in the chorus expect when Annie sang, it was intentionally over the top sexualize for comedic effect. Del Rey, unless she is trying to pull the biggest prank in musical history, is singing with a straight face. Seriously, “Kiss me on my open mouth” may be the least sexy line ever song that was supposed to be romantic.
The cooing goes way over the top for National Anthem, which I am not entirely sure what is supposed to be a metaphor for, and I am not sure I want to find out. The song is the musical version of the drunken chick at the party who tries to make out with you even though her breathe reeks of a mixture of alcohol, cigarette butts, and puck; it is really the ultimate anti-aphrodisiac. Ladies, if you put on Let's Get It On when you want to, well, get it on, Born to Die is what you should play if you want to make sure your boyfriend gets the hint that tonight is a hair up, sweatpants kind of night. Unless of course you are dating a semi-ironic hipster because I have a feeling those are the only people who would enjoy Born to Die. Of course if that is the case, you have more to worry about than listening to Born to Die in its entirety.
Song to Download – Blue Jeans
Born to Die gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.