Lana Del Rey's Sophomore album Born To Die has its moments, but is overlooked due to the tabloids.
If you ever caught your 20-something girlfriend tripping on uppers and erratically singing in the bathroom mirror about every petty problem in her life, you have heard Lana Del Rey’s sophomore album Born to Die. It’s not as though listening to pretty girls express their feelings about being taken to the Hamptons, drinking alcohol and wanting to love and be loved is a bad thing. If that were the case, Jersey Shore and Keeping Up With The Kardashians wouldn’t be such hits. The problem is that Lana Del Rey has been hyped up so much over the last six months since the ‘release’ of her debut song “Video Games”on YouTube, the music industry, bloggers and other key money makers have been frothing at the mouth to get a piece of the newest flavor of the week.
Because of this, it’s hard not to turn on the album and immediately judge and question the hollowness listeners sometimes feel from Del Rey’s voice.
Critics seem to unanimously agree that the only good songs on this album are the two previous releases, “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans.” But there is good in other tracks on the album like “Off to the Races,” where Del Rey’s whisky soaked, manic toned voice tells the tale of an unrestrained relationship fueled by Bacardi, nights at Chateau Marmont, and mad dollar bills. “Carmen,” a haunting track about a girl who struggles with alcoholism and what seem to be, 17-year-old hooker problems, presents Del Rey’s vocals a little differently. The track is stripped from the gimmicky Emile Haynie hip-hop drum tracks which leave a sound true to her real self, Lizzy Grant.
All in all, Lana Del Rey’s Born to Die is what Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is to alt film. It is fun to watch and quote to your friends but it’s not the real thing. Lana is just Britney, Gaga and Katy in another form and will have to shed the soft exterior if she wants to survive the rabid pack of reviewers, twitter haters and bloggers she will face in the coming weeks. Enjoy the Kate Bush, Jane Birkin throwback Del Ray is bringing to the table, but don’t believe for a minute that it’s genuine.
Best Tracks: “Off to the Races,” “Born to Die,” “Million Dollar Man”
Skip These: “Lolita,” “Lucky Ones,” “Summertime Sadness”