Born to Die proves reviews wrong

The cover of Lana del Rey’s major-label debut album. The singer is signed with Interscope Records.
The cover of Lana del Rey’s major-label debut album. The singer is signed with Interscope Records.

Elizabeth Grant, known as her stage name Lana del Rey, is a new and upcoming American pop artist. The artist appeared on Saturday Night Live on January 14 and received harsh reviews from critics. However, SNL retaliated with a parody of Del Rey that simultaneously refuted vicious reviews of the singer.

Del Rey released her self-titled debut album in 2008 but bought back the rights for it in 2010. Her first major-label album, Born to Die, was released in January of 2012. Two singles from the album, “Born to Die” and “Video Games,” have topped the charts worldwide.

While it may be difficult to separate the singer’s awkward appearance on SNL from her reputation, her performance was unrepresentative of her competency as a singer. Other live performances, such as the one given at the Corinthia Hotel, show off her ability to make melancholy sound beautiful in a truly unique fashion. Throughout Born to Die, Del Rey combines hip-hop style beats, orchestral music and  lovesick lyrics into sickly-sweet molasses. The singer’s style – classified as a “gangsta Nancy Sinatra” by some reviews – stays consistently scandalous and sexed-up throughout each track. This completes Del Rey’s anthem of love, simultaneously separating her from artists such as Adele and Taylor Swift, whose singles are kindred to a lovesick teenager whining about her boyfriend.

Though it can be easy to get worn out on melancholy pop songs, Lana del Rey brings something new to this genre, mixing in hip-hop and punk rock sounds with edgy lyrics to keep her tracks compelling and hauntingly beautiful. Songs such as “Blue Jeans” and “Off to the Races” are ones easy to keep on repeat.

In the future, I expect great success for this artist. A second album would definitely help to solidify Del Rey’s style and reputation. Until then, hopefully the singer will be able to surpass her negative reviews and pursue a successful career.


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