Born to Die
Lana Del Rey
The album Born to Die by American singer/songwriter Lana Del Rey is a unique blend of folk, alternative and I don’t know what. Though I was a bit confused about what I was listening to at times, I liked nearly every song on this album.
Twenty-five year old Lana Del Rey, born Elizabeth Grant, has been dabbling in the music industry since she was 15, but with Born to Die, she’s taken her first big step towards success.
Noteworthy songs include the album’s namesake “Born to Die,” “Blue Jeans” and “Video Games.” I particularly enjoyed these tracks because they were lyrically intriguing and they best showcased Del Rey’s voice.
It’s almost as if Del Rey has two different but very distinct voices. The first one, which she seems to favor, is high and breathy, but unfortunately, almost whiney at times. The second one is lower and has a more sinister, creepy tone. When she switches between the two voices it creates this fascinating blend of sweet and sultry that left me wanting more.
Throughout the album Del Rey’s voice is clearly synthesized and most of the background music is computer generated— but so what? I actually liked it. It wasn’t overly synthesized and her music wasn’t any less enjoyable because of its less-than-human origins. If an entire music genre can be created based on synthesized beats (hem, hem techno) then Lana Del Rey can do it too.
What I liked most about this album was that it had a theme and each song had a common thread. The songs weren’t the typical “money money money” or “I’m so hot, look at me look at me” songs that plague popular radio stations. The lyrics were bizarre and maybe a bit random at times, but thought provoking nonetheless. The gist of the album is of love and love lost and I have a feeling that this album is for one of Del Rey’s past lovers.
With her rising stardom has come the inevitable rise of Lana Del Rey haters, most of whom say Del Rey’s music is only being noticed because her father, domain investor Rob Grant, is wealthy. While I’ll admit that Del Rey’s wealthy connections may have boosted her success level, it wasn’t the only contribution to the awesomeness of this CD. Wealthy starlets like Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton haven’t been able to produce a single song worthy of being called “good” despite their millions—so pinning Del Rey’s rising success on money is not only unfair, it’s not true.
This was a mellow but highly enjoyable listen, and I would recommend it to anyone willing to give unusual talent a try.
I give it: Five out of five stars
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