Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Lana Del Rey - Born To Die Review




Born To Die - Lana Del Rey | Released 27 January 2012 | Studio Album

If you have not heard of Lana Del Rey, I am here to rescue you from the rock you live under.
Let's be honest. In order to be a successful female singer (not performer) in this day and age, you need to have some drama surronding you. Or at least some sort of controversy. In order to be highly successful your music needs to overshadow the controversy. Example? Amy Winehouse. Drugs, alcohol and the media ruined her life but no one forgot about her voice and how great it was. So what was Lana's controversy? Well obviously her's is mild compared to Winehouse but have you seen how her lips look in the Video Games music video(see below)? Yes this does not compare to drugs and alcohol but everyone was talking about her lips and not the music. So was I. Then one day I listened to the music and forgot about her collagen injected lips. It was love!

I love female singers but the singers of today are more concerned with outfits and performances that they forget about their vocal ability. Very few of them sing anymore. Lana Del Rey sings and she sings very well.


The American beauty first came onto the scene as Lizzy Grant and later changed her stage name to Lana Del Rey. She is also a brilliant song writer. When listening to the album Born To Die it's as if you are listening to a girl's narration of her life.

Her song This Is What Makes Us Girls speaks about how girls act during their teen years. It is my favourite song in terms of narration. Yes not all girls live like this but we all know a few who do.


Remember how we used to party up all night
Sneaking out and looking for a taste of real life
Drinking in the small town firelight
(Pabst Blue Ribbon on ice)

Sweet sixteen and we had arrived
Walking down the streets as they whistle, "Hi, hi!"
Stealin' police cars with the senior guys
Teachers said we'd never make it out alive

There she was my new best friend
High heels in her hands, swayin' in the wind
While she starts to cry, mascara runnin' down her little Bambi eyes:
"Lana, how I hate those guys."

This is what makes us girls
We all look for heaven and we put our love first
Don't ya know we'd die for it, it's our curse
Don't cry about it, don't cry about it
This is what makes us girls
We don't stick together 'cause we put our love first
Don't cry about him, don't cry about him
It's all gonna happen

And that's where the beginning of the end begun
Everybody knew that we had too much fun
We were skippin' school and drinkin' on the job
(With the boss)

Sweet sixteen and we had arrived
Baby's table dancin' at the local dive
Cheerin our names in the pink spotlight
Drinkin' cherry schnapps in the velvet night

Yo we used to go break in
To the hotel pool, glimmer and we’d swim
Runnin' from the cops in our black bikini tops
Screaming, "Get us while we're hot. Get us while we're hot"
(Come on take a shot)

This is what makes us girls
We all look for heaven and we put our love first
Don't you know we'd die for it, it's our curse
Don't cry about it, don't cry about it
This is what makes us girls
We don't stick together 'cause we put our love first
Don't cry about him, don't cry about him
It's all gonna happen

The prettiest in crowd that you had ever seen
Ribbons in our hair and our eyes gleamed mean
A freshmen generation of degenerate beauty queens
And you know something?

They were the only friends I ever had
We got into trouble and when stuff got bad
I got sent away, I was waving on the train platform
Crying 'cause I know I'm never comin' back.

This is what makes us girls
We all look for heaven and we put our love first
Somethin' that we'd die for, it's our curse
Don't cry about it, don't cry about it
This is what makes us girls
We don't stick together 'cause we put our love first
Don't cry about him, don't cry about him It's all gonna happen


However for me her songwriting skills shine in the song, Dark Paradise. It's here were her lyrics echo those of Adele but Lana's are darker and more metaphorical.


All my friends tell me I should move on
I'm lying in the ocean, singing your song
Ahhh, that's how you sang it
Loving you forever, can't be wrong
Even though you're not here, won't move on
Ahhh, that's how we played it

And there's no remedy for memory your face is
Like a melody, it won't leave my head
Your soul is haunting me and telling me
That everything is fine
But I wish I was dead

Every time I close my eyes
It's like a dark paradise
No one compares to you
I'm scared that you won't be waiting on the other side
Every time I close my eyes
It's like a dark paradise
No one compares to you
I'm scared that you won't be waiting on the other side

All my friends ask me why I stay strong
Tell 'em when you find true love it lives on
Ahhh, that's why I stay here

And there's no remedy for memory your face is
Like a melody, it won't leave my head
Your soul is haunting me and telling me
That everything is fine
But I wish I was dead

Every time I close my eyes
It's like a dark paradise
No one compares to you
I'm scared that you won't be waiting on the other side
Every time I close my eyes
It's like a dark paradise
No one compares to you

But there's no you, except in my dreams tonight,
Oh oh oh, ha ha ha
I don't wanna wake up from this tonight
Oh oh oh oh, ha ha ha ha
I don't wanna wake up from this tonight

There's no relief, I see you in my sleep
And everybody's rushing me, but I can feel you touching me
There's no release, I feel you in my dreams
Telling me I'm fine

Every time I close my eyes
It's like a dark paradise
No one compares to you
I'm scared that you won't be waiting on the other side
Every time I close my eyes
It's like a dark paradise
No one compares to you

But there's no you, except in my dreams tonight,
Oh oh oh oh, ha ha ha ha
I don't wanna wake up from this tonight
Oh oh oh oh, ha ha ha ha
I don't wanna wake up from this tonight

For me Lana Del Rey is the first female to earn the title singer/songwriter after amazing singers like Amy Winehouse and Adele. Usually female singers start out with a strong album and vocal ability and then leave it all behind for the glitz and glam. Yes being a great performer is a plus but what ever happened to quality music? Whatever happened to liking every song on an album and being able to listen to the album years later?


Born To Die and National Anthem are examples of brilliant music production. When was the last time we heard an orchestra in a song? We have been listening to synthetic music for the longest time and now Lana has bought back genuine music.

There is a song for every type of mood and day. You've just broken up with your boyfriend? Then Dark Paradise is for you. Or else you just realised that you love your boyfriend? Video Games is for you.

At first listen you think the album is for the heartbroken soul but take one more listen and you realise that the album is filled with love.


The underlying hip-hop beats make it difficult to classify the album into one genre of music. Sometimes it sounds like the blues other times it sounds like Timbaland has gotten a hold of the music. Either way it makes for great music.

It's difficult to choose a favourite song on the album but if I had to choose a few favourites they would have to be:
  • Born To Die
  • Video Games
  • National Anthem
  • Dark Paradise
  • Carmen
  • Summertime Sadness
  • This Is What Makes Us Girls
If you can try get the Special Edition album which has Without You, Lolita and Lucky Ones and bonus tracks.

Lana Del Rey is not just a beautiful woman who sometimes injects her lips with collagen, she is a woman who is re-introducing the concept of genuine good quality music.
One listen of her album and you feel like you living in her world with her.

Here's to quality music and a new female singer and songwriter making waves!

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