Lana Del Rey -‘Born To Die’ (Polydor/Interscope)
..so here it comes. The most anticipated debut of 2012, from an act who was barely known six months ago. There probably is a school of thought that argues that given how well this record is likely to do, there’s no point in reviewing it. And some people will be sharpening the knives for the inevitable backlash. Hell, that was starting to happen before the unfortunate TV appearance a week or two ago.
Thing is, for whatever reason (probably to do with only having got 6Music at the start of the year, only reading NME periodically might well be factors), I first heard ‘Video Games’ on the radio. It didn’t blow me away at first – but now it has worked its’ charms on me.
Is it an innovative album that rewrites the rulebook? No – but nor is it an exercise in shameless nostalgia. Taken simply at face value, it is an album of hauntingly beautiful songs. And yes, she’s worked with collaborators on songs- so have most artists since the dawn of time.
The title track you probably know by now, as well as ‘Video Games’. There are other tracks worth seeking out here – after all in this day and age of downloads, there will be many who simply buy the songs they have heard rather than bothering with the entire album (a shame, but this may well be a generational thing). For my money, ‘National Anthem’ and ‘Blue Jeans’ are worth your time too.
Is she a persona as Lana Del Rey, rather than as Lizzie Grant? Perhaps. I’ve not watched the videos – and the more I hear other people talk about and dissect them, I feel like I want to just stick with the music. The album cover reminds me more of Desperate Housewives than anything else, and I don’t feel the urge to do more than just enjoy the sounds, rather than subject the record to huge amounts of over-analysis.
…and on the evidence here, that’s quite enough for me.
Born To Die is released on Polydor/Interscope on January 30.