More things that baffle me: Lana Del Rey

I get a lot of my entertainment news from Gawker. This would be a terrible idea if I did it with, say, world politics, but since the whole point of entertainment news is to publish pictures and opinionated remarks about people who live for pictures and opinionated remarks, I figure it's as good a place as any.

They hate Lana Del Rey. Because apparently other people love Lana Del Rey? i don't get either side. I mean, lying about her lips done is kind of irritating (important life lesson: If you're going to lie about something, lie about something that people can't check by looking at you), but that's not normally enough to make people loathe you to the point of wanting to throw their overpriced lattes at your car.

I have heard several of her songs; I don't like deciding I like or don't like someone before I know what they've done, after all.

"Video Games"


"Blue Jeans"


"Born To Die"


My reaction to all of them can probably best be summed up by noting that at one point, I lost track of which one I was listening to, because as far as I can tell, they're all pretty much the same song. Moreover, it's not even a new song for her; she was doing the exact same thing when she was trying to get noticed as Lizzie Grant:


I suppose she's no worse a singer than a lot of other people I like perfectly fine, but there's something missing in her presentation that really just makes it all fall very flat. The Jezzies rip on her a lot for being exceedingly fake, which I suppose she is; I don't really care about her having a persona per se, since everyone who goes up on stage, including people who play "themselves" up there, at the very least is picking and choosing which parts of themselves to bring forward and make public.

As near as I can figure, her problem is that she's just not any good at it. She seems to be sleepwalking through her songs, even in her videos, where presumably if she were just having an off day it could be fixed up in editing. She's utterly limp, and she doesn't even seem to like being up there. It's a whole mess o' no fun at all to watch someone get up on stage and spend their entire set somewhere between completely apathetic and actively not wanting to be there. She seems to think she's Nancy Sinatra, albeit with slightly less eyeliner and slightly more skirt, but Nancy Sinatra... I don't know, had facial expressions? Looks like she's paying attention? I'm pretty sure this is what Lana Del Rey thinks she's doing:

"Bang Bang"


...and yeah, she's not.

I would wonder if she were on some sort of serious psychoactive medication for something, if I had more of a baseline to go on. She's reportedly not all that coherent in interviews either, although nobody can really tell if she's spouting pseudointellectual nonsense because she wants to sound like a disaffected hipster or because she's just not very bright.

Comments

  1. I liked "Video Games" so much better before I saw the music video. I think she could have made it 500x better by just stretching out that smile she has at 3:46 throughout the whole thing. I actually liked the video for "Born to Die" because it looked like someone put some thought and effort into the symbolism, and it wasn't just a tossed salad of random home videos, with a few shots of her singing sprinkled in like tomatoes.

    But I agree with your general point that Ms. Del Rey long ago found one sound that she liked and that worked for her, and she's sticking to it.

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