The Lana Del Ray Debacle

LanaDelRayAnyone who follows the music press and music blogs is probably sick to death of the three words “Lana Del Ray” at the moment and I have to apologise before I even start writing this for adding to the hype surrounding this “artist”.

But the thing is, at the moment Lana Del Ray is like that girl at high-school who magically got gorgeous overnight and in doing so, managed to get the entire school talking about her.

Murmurs about her started last year when her track “Video Games” hit the internet, but now that her debut album Born To Die has been released, those murmurs have evolved into people shouting indignantly from the rooftops that Lana Del Ray is full of shit.



I gave her album a spin yesterday so I could hear for myself what the fuss was all about and I emerged from that experience simultaneously entranced and disappointed.

The tracks that made her famous (“Video Games” and “Blue Jeans”) appear on the album in all their languid glory, brimming over with promise, tension and that unmistakeable melancholy that so articulates the theme of the broken American Dream, which is at the heart of this album.

“Diet Mountain Dew” and “Radio” also stand out as noteworthy tracks – I mean how could you not admire an artist who rhymes the cringe-worthy line “Now my life is sweet like cinnamon” with the undeniably bitter, “Like a fucking dream I’m living in” as Del Ray does in “Radio”?



I think what the furore about her all boils down to can be summed up on one simple statement: no one wants to believe she’s real.

Everything about her, from her looks to her style to her music, has been accused of being manufactured like she’s just another plastic robot being churned out of the Fame Factory with no real substance to her whatsoever.

And, sad to say, if you listen to the final few tracks on Born To Die (ie. tracks like “This Is What Makes Us Girls” and “Lolita”), which sound like outtakes from a Britney Spears album, you’d agree in an instant that she’s a pop shop mannequin and nothing more.



But somehow that just doesn’t sit right with me. Call me naive, but I think there’s more to Miss Lizzie Grant (her real name) than the haters out there are willing to acknowledge or accept.

Sure, her Saturday Night Live performance was a little ropey, but in one of the most telling interviews I’ve read about her over the last few months, she replied to Rolling Stone’s comment to her that the backlash from the SNL performance was pretty harsh saying:

There’s backlash about everything I do. It’s nothing new. When I walk outside, people have something to say about it. It wouldn’t have mattered if I was absolutely excellent. People don’t have anything nice to say about this project. I’m sure that’s why you’re writing about it.

Suffice to say, I haven’t made up my mind about Lana Del Ray just yet. Her debut album, for all it’s intrigue, is admittedly a bit of an incoherent mess stylistically (she swings from Amy Winehouse to Mickey Mouse Club so effortlessly it’s scary), but if she’s still around, I think album no. 2 is going to melt faces.

In the meantime, don’t write her off completely. Give Born To Die a listen and, if nothing else, you’ll at least, you’ll at least be able to formulate your own opinion and wield it with authority the next time a hipster starts hating on Lana like he’s some nerd she refused to go to the prom with.


2 Responses to “The Lana Del Ray Debacle”

  1. 1 Seerower
    February 3, 2012 at 9:48 am

    I think she is a product and a victim of internet fame. The internet helped to get her noticed but it also grouped her in with the all the Rebecca Black-alikes. Fortunately for ms Grant, the people who listen to her music with a negatively predisposed do not make up a large portion of her target market. The teenagers and the twenty-somethings who were raised on a staple of internet trends, poor literature and mindless music are her target market. They will consider her the second coming (after the Twilight series).

    Unfortunately, this also means that anybody that hoped that she would develope the talent that she hinted at will end up disappointed. The mould has been cast now that her album has been released. Her formula for success probably won’t change and it will end up in her songs becoming formulaic. Don’t be surprised if you see a follow-up album of similar sounding songs in a year’s time.

    In the mean time, quality musical products like Wugazi get lost in the tidal wave of bullshit with which Del Ray and her ilk flood the internet.

    Enough ranting…

    Still, WTF is up with her lips?!

  2. 2 Nick
    February 25, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Howzit Slick!

    Dude I remembered reading your blog about this chick so when i heard her song ‘Born to Die’ from her album ‘Born to Die’, I won’t lie I was pretty impressed. I’ve got the album and I must say I think its pretty decent. Nothing mind blowingly awesome, but hey, its not bad…

    She is hot though!

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