Hatkirby on December 29th, 2012 at 9:40:09pm
We're almost at the end, folks. On the final days of 2012, I would like to reflect back to the final days of 2011, when, innocently browsing Tumblr, I started to see a lot of posts and pictures regarding some singer named Lana Del Rey. In fact, it was a year ago yesterday when I decided to give her a listen, when my ears were graced by the beautiful haunting melody that is Video Games, and I was immediately hooked. This mysterious woman who had come out of nowhere was suddenly breaking my heart, and I found myself amongst the many others waiting impatiently for her debut album, Born To Die, to come out. A month seemed like a very, very long time. I mean, how long could you wait for this to arrive in your mailbox?
I just have to take a moment out of this review to say that this cover is a piece of art. Everything, right down to the fact that you can see her bra through her shirt, is perfect. If you listen to the album, you'll understand why.
Lana has one theme that she knows dearly and which she can expound greatly on: old-fashioned love. Whether it's the fiery, upbeat passion of Off To The Races, or the slow, cold death that is Born To Die, Lana delivers a catchy tune and a moving story. Lana's sultry voice works combines beautifully with all the different productions thrown at it, be it the summery, happy banger of Blue Jeans or the cascading, nighttime pain of National Anthem. All of these songs are brilliant and have earned many a night of being played on repeat. Lana exudes insanity (huh...), heartbreak, and nostalgia.
National Anthem is perhaps my favorite song, and what's amazing about it is that it's not actually the beautiful backing violins that make the song---while the album version is very dark, the demo version of the song is very upbeat and happy and it still manages to blow me away. Her lyricism really shows in this song (in fact, I like these lyrics so much that I sang? some of them in a Gates of Sleep song).
Other notable tracks include the soft swaying sadness of, well, Summertime Sadness, the banging midnight fiesta of Lolita, the relaxed, light, poppy ditty of Diet Mountain Dew, and the shining, barely constrained happiness of Without You. This album has very few low points---in fact, the only song I really outright dislike is Million Dollar Man, because it's boring and not that interesting musically or lyrically. Other than that, this is a bona fide indie pop album which had a large bearing on me this year. It's definitely worth a listen. Just get ready for some emotion.