(2012) Born To Die

Lana Del Ray

... read moreLana Del Rey is a femme fatale with a smoky voice, a languorous image, and a modeling contract. Not coincidentally, she didn't lack for attention leading up to the release of her Interscope debut, Born to Die. The hype began in mid-2011 with a stunning song and video for "Video Games," and it kept...

49′:33″ 12 Songs

1
Born To Die
Lana Del Ray
4:46
2
Off To The Races
Lana Del Ray
5:01
3
Blue Jeans
Lana Del Ray
3:29
4
Video Games (Remastered)
Lana Del Ray
4:42
5
Diet Mountain Dew
Lana Del Ray
3:43
6
National Anthem
Lana Del Ray
3:49
7
Dark Paradise
Lana Del Ray
4:04
8
Radio
Lana Del Ray
3:35
9
Carmen
Lana Del Ray
4:09
10
Million Dollar Man
Lana Del Ray
3:50
11
Summertime Sadness
Lana Del Ray
4:25
12
This Is What Makes Us Girls
Lana Del Ray
4:00
Released 01 January 2012, ℗ 2012 Lana Del Rey, under exclusive licence to Polydor Ltd. (UK). Under exclusive licence to Interscope Records in the USA

Review

Lana Del Rey is a femme fatale with a smoky voice, a languorous image, and a modeling contract. Not coincidentally, she didn't lack for attention leading up to the release of her Interscope debut, Born to Die. The hype began in mid-2011 with a stunning song and video for "Video Games," and it kept on rising, right up to her January 2012 performance on Saturday Night Live (making her the first artist since Natalie Imbruglia in 1998 to perform on SNL without an album available). Although it's easy to see the reasons why Del Rey got her contract, it's also easy to hear: her songwriting skills and her bewitching voice. "Video Games" is a beautiful song, calling to mind Fiona Apple and Anna Calvi as she recounts another variation on the age-old trope of female-as-sex-object. Her vacant, tired reading of the song rescues it from any hint of exploitation, making it a winner. Unfortunately, the only problem with Born to Die is a big one. There is a chasm that separates "Video Games" from the other material and performances on the album, which aims for exactly the same target -- sultry, sexy, wasted -- but with none of the same lyrical grace, emotional power, or sympathetic productions. Del Rey doesn't mind taking chances, varying her vocalizing and delivery, toying with her lines and reaching for cinematic flourishes ("he loves me with every beat of his cocaine heart," "Pabst Blue Ribbon on ice"), and even attempting to rap. But she's unable to consistently sell herself as a heartbreaker, and most of the songs here sound like cobbled retreads of "Video Games." An intriguing start, but Del Rey is going to have to hit the books if she wants to stay as successful as her career promised early on. ~ John Bush