Lana Del Rey: Born To Die

Lana Del Rey
Born To Die

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After springing onto the scene and quickly being dubbed the Next Big Thing, Lana Del Rey found herself just as quickly dubbed Saturday Night Live’s worst performer ever even before her album, Born To Die, hit the shelves. But it turns out that the songs on the album, like her career thus far, are appropriately both fantastic and terrible from moment to moment.

The centerpiece song is “Video Games,” the first single, which brought Del Rey, whose real name is Elizabeth Grant, into the limelight and it remains her high water mark on the album with its sultry and ethereal sense of nostalgia. “Blue Jeans,” the follow-up single, is a fairly strong track as are songs like the title track and “Summertime Sadness,” but the feel is very similar aside from some looping.  It doesn’t take long for the flighty, lost, super cool, sexy girl in the corner thing to run it course and when it does, we are left with the morning after tracks like: “Off To The Races” and “National Anthem,” on which Del Rey attempts something like rapping and it’s a big, hairy, hot mess.

The album title Born To Die seems like a foreboding choice for the much-discussed singer, and being that she’s cited Kurt Cobain and Brittney Spears as major influences, it feels as if Del Rey has planned the black moments on her road to stardom. Maybe that just comes with the territory these days.

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About Tim Needles

Tim Needles is an artist, photographer, humorist, and writer from Long Island, NY. His writing and art work has been seen in multiple exhibitions and publications around New York as well as the Photographer’s Forum, French Photo, the New York Times, and LI Pulse magazine. He is also an educator and currently teaches art and film at Smithtown, NY and as an Education Leader for Adobe. He was recently the recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Award in Washington DC and serves as the director of Strictly Students, a non-for-profit group for media and education. His work can be seen on his website: www.timneedles.com
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