The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Hit or Miss: Lana Del Rey

From what music listeners have heard so far, the year 2012 can change music like no other year before it. But in order to make this happen, there needs to be something new and innovative in the music industry. Lana Del Rey is just that and her second studio album Born to Die hit store shelves on Jan. 31.

Born to Die has a sweet, melodic and soothing sound that doesn’t seem to fit the title of the album.Singles like “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans” have soft hollowed out beats that are accompanied by other light instruments. On the contrary, the only things that can be heard in the song “Summertime Sadness”
are Lana’s voice and the strong strokes of a piano.

The lyrics don’t justify the album title either. The songs seem to have some kind of love theme laced within them. In the song “Radio” the lyrics speak of someone who is finally happy to have found someone  worthy of the singer’s love.

Del Rey sings: “No one knows how hard I’ve lost/ I don’t even care about it now because/ I’ve finally found you.” The song “Million Dollar Man” takes on the opposite theme: “I love you honey, and so I’m ready, I’m ready to go/…You’re screwed up and brilliant, You
look like a million dollar man,/ So why is my heart broke?”

Finally, in the song “Dark Paradise” it talks about loving someone from the past. “And there’s no remedy for your memory, your face is like a melody/
It won’t leave my head.”

Del Rey’s album presents itself as an example of  originality considering that not many of today’s artists create music of this
particular style. Lana Del Rey has stayed away from electric guitars and synthesizers to compose her beats and tends to stay with more classic musical instruments like pianos and orchestras.

There are some upbeat numbers such as “Off to the Races” and “Diet Mountain Dew” but they never stray away from the general feel of the album.
However, this album does sound very close to her last. She has done a good job of making none of the songs sound like one another but it’s almost as
if Born to Die is a continuation of  Lana Del Rey aka Lizzy Grant.

Born to Die may end up being the “David Lynch” of this year’s albums. In the sense that Lynch, who is known for the surrealism aspects in his works,
released an album last year entitled Crazy Clown Time. The album was much different than anything that was considered mainstream or popular last year and
certainly wasn’t something that would play in a club. Lana Del Rey already has a strong fan base but that may not be enough to get her up there with
the kind of success that Nicki Minaj or Lady Gaga have.

Many critics have expressed disappointment toward the songstress’s latest project and Spin magazine said in its Born to Die review that, “This record is not godawful. Nor is it great.” Del Rey’s appearnace on Saturday Night Live was also highly criticized and ripped through shreds on Twitter and by NBC anchor Brian Williams.

In an interview with Rolling Stone Del Rey defended her performance and said: “I actually felt good about it. I thought I looked beautiful and sang fine.”

Although this is her second album, it might as well be her first as she is still proving herself in the music industry. Lana Del Rey released her first album
Lana Del Rey aka Lizzy Grant as a free download. The download however is currently unavailable as the artist is planning to re-release the poorly marketed album later on this year.

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