Lana Del Rey's has earned a dedicated fan base over the few months following a string of popular Youtube music videos from her latest album Born to Die. However, critics are going to tear up her record to pieces, because of the pessimistic hype this singer managed for herself. This kind of thing occurs to many great artists who can't seem to get their private lives aligned with the public's impression of what makes a singer outstanding; as though anything but the music creates a damn bit of difference.
A number of her acoustic live shows have really held my interest prior to this CD. After listening to her Born to Die several times, I'm really of the belief that she sounds even more intense when her voice and lyrical styling is mixed together wide string sections in the center of hip-hop enthused beats and pop synths. The momentary moments of drums, keyboard and guitar sound like something directly out of the era and she sounds very much like Nancy Sinatra I would say.
Seeing a singer dig a bit further back in time, while still sustaining an eclectic sensibility on a record that is remarkable? Well, it doesn't get much better than that. The CD begins with her already classic songs such as "Born to Die", "Off to the Races", "Blue Jeans" and "Video Games" (Del Rey's stunning yet dry delivery on this number looked to give an exclusive explanation on today's culture. Supported by a lush orchestration, the number took the world by storm and got many views on sites like YouTube well before the record's release. She even became the first singer to perform on SNL before the release of her first record since Natalie Imbruglia in 1998). These terrific ballads are without doubt worth a listen for a person who has not heard Del Rey sings. They are some of the highlights of the CD.
Watch Lana Del Rey's "Video Games"
After the first four songs, the album looses some of its steam and onward momentum. "Diet Mountain Dew" is an excellent song, so is "Radio" that has some amazing singing performances and "Dark Paradise" could be the most excellent track on the entire record.
The rest of the tracks on the album are, to be honest, somewhat poor. There was a great build for the first part of the album, but the last eight songs feels repeated with the same subjects. The last song "This Is What Makes Us Girls" maybe the best in this bunch, and they are enjoyable to listen to, once or twice.