Lana Del Rey Arrives, Shaky and a Little Grim

From the latest edition of SF Weekly:

No Pleasure in the Spotlight: “Feet don't fail me now,” Lana Del Rey groans as her debut album, Born to Die, ushers itself in with a flourish of strings and sampled moans. It's a curiously unconfident first step for any singer, but especially so for this one, whose every move has been chronicled by every website worth its Google PageRank since the release of her first single last August. She has gone from rising star to whipping post and back again, sometimes in the same week, if not the same 24-hour span.

And now here is Born to Die, a case study in the blog star's debut album as anticlimax, or in the humiliating way up-and-coming starlets are treated by the media as a matter of course, or in how a major label can use both concepts to get a developing artist boatloads of press before that person has said much of anything of artistic import. The latter strategy at least seems appropriate to the subject matter at hand here; Del Rey's songs give a voice to the women endlessly photographed on nu-paparazzi sites like Last Night's Party, glamorously spilling drinks as they give their sexiest looks to the camera. Revelry does get name-checked in the lyrics — shout-outs to Bacardi and Pabst Blue Ribbon — but so do the zip-addled fucks and heartbreaks that inevitably result when the flashbulbs stop popping and the free liquor runs out… [continue reading]

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