A Look at … Lana Del Rey “Born to Die”

Posted 21 Mar 2012 in Albums of the 10s, Paul McBride


It speaks volumes about the power of the internet that, even before the release of Lana Del Rey’s debut album Born To Die, she was the most hyped artist in the multiverse. The majority of hype surrounds her shaky, opinion-dividing Saturday Night Live performance of debut single ‘Video Games’, with even Harry Potter himself, host Daniel Radcliffe, quickly jumping to her defence in the face of intense criticism.

However, criticism brings attention, which is a good thing for Lana Del Rey. It’s easy to imagine her managers rubbing their hands, the glint of dollar signs in their eyes as the column inches increase and Del Rey goes global. Several modelling contracts and magazine covers later, and the market is slathering at the mouth, waiting for the album to hit the shelves.

So, is it worth the wait? The answer is, probably, yes. Big strings and sorrowful mourning ooze from every pore of this heartfelt recording, showcasing Del Rey’s fragility, melancholy, and ultimately beautifully-written songs.

The album gets off the starting blocks with big-budget title track ‘Born To Die’, the soaring strings perfectly complementing Del Rey’s deep vocal tones, before dragging and bouncing them up a couple of octaves for following track ‘Off To The Races’, an ode to being a kept woman.

Next, we are hit with the double whammy of twin singles ‘Blue Jeans’ and ‘Video Games’. ‘Blue Jeans’ wouldn’t sound out of place in a 50s coming-of-age movie, complete with hot rods, drive-in cinemas, and greasy quiffs. ‘Video Games’ is undoubtedly Del Rey’s best song; it’s back-story as surprising as the level of its success. Written about Del Rey’s contentment at being a homebody in love, it sounds more like the wistful mourning of a lost relationship.

Next up is the up-tempo ‘Diet Mountain Dew’, before Born To Die reaches its low point with ‘National Anthem’ – Del Rey’s attempt at being Gwen Stefani – which falls flat, badly.

‘Dark Paradise’ and ‘Radio’ raise the bar once again. Whilst sounding similar to the title track, they follow a formula that works well for Del Rey, and she wisely plays to her strengths.

Closer ‘This Is What Makes Us Girls’ soars before allowing the curtain to fall on this debut release; its lyric of “We all look for heaven and we put love first” fading out and ending the record. While Lana Del Rey might still be looking for heaven, her many fans across the world know where to find it.

– Paul McBride, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Track Listing

  1. Born to Die (Del Rey, Parker) 4:46
  2. Off to the Races (Del Rey, Larcombe) 4:59
  3. Blue Jeans (Del Rey, Haynie, Heath) 3:29
  4. Video Games (Del Rey, Parker) 4:41
  5. Diet Mountain Dew (Daly, Del Rey) 3:42
  6. National Anthem (Del Rey, Parker) 3:50
  7. Dark Paradise (Del Rey, Nowels) 4:03
  8. Radio (Del Rey, Parker) 3:34
  9. Carmen (Del Rey, Parker) 4:08
  10. Million Dollar Man (Braide, Del Rey) 3:51
  11. Summertime Sadness (Del Rey, Nowels) 4:25
  12. This Is What Makes Us Girls (Del Rey, Irvin, Larcombe) 4:00


See the three official videos off Born to Die below. We are also providing you with her two performances on that Saturday Night Live shows along with her recent spot on The Late Show with David Letterman. Decide for yourself…
Official Videos from Born to Die

Here are the Saturday Night Live Performances

Here are the David Letterman Performance

Posted by Larry Carta

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