Lana Del Rey – Born To Die

February 10, 2012 at 9:38 am | Posted in Lana Del Rey | 2 Comments
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  1. Born To Die
  2. Off To The Races
  3. Blue Jeans
  4. Video Games
  5. Diet Mountain Dew
  6. National Anthem
  7. Dark Paradise
  8. Radio
  9. Carmen
  10. Million Dollar Man
  11. Summertime Sadness
  12. This Is What Makes Us Girls
  13. Without You
  14. Lolita
  15. Lucky Ones

Lana Del Rey went from being the internet’s best-kept secret to making headlines all over the world, all in the span of a year. Her debut album, Born To Die, was on everyone’s radar, fans and haters. The album quickly became one of the most anticipated releases of 2012. Last year, when she released her first song, she was praised by the indie crowd. However, people started digging up information on her, discovering her real name is Lizzy Grant, a girl from New York who spent years living in a trailer. It didn’t end there though. Discovering that her father is a real-estate entrepreneur, supposedly a millionaire, the people who once praised her began to tear her down. Accusations of her using her father’s money to buy a record contract became a hot topic. Her lips came under fire as articles attacked her for changing her appearance. To make matters worse, her Saturday Night Live performance caused a huge backlash. She experienced a hate rarely seen by new artists, a hate that went too far. The scrutiny that she has received is uncalled for and ridiculous. All artists, in some way, put on an image for the general public, an image meant to reflect their music. I’ve never seen popular mainstream artists face this dilemma so it’s saddening to see her be a target of unfathomable hatred. Her 50s inspired glam look is beautiful, captivating and demands attention. It reflects her music which she has labeled Hollywood sadcore and the album blends crafty hip hop beats with string arrangements that are as beautiful as they are unique. The protests of her being fake are ridiculous. Looking into her musical past you can clearly see that her music has always been essentially the same. Her trailer park persona and sound are very apparent on her old release, Lana Del Rey a.k.a. Lizzy Grant, as well as her demo tracks. Regardless of all the controversy surrounding her, people can’t stop talking about her. Lana was thrust into stardom and Born To Die has set the bar extremely high for music this year.

The album starts with the title track, Born To Die, the song that introduced me to Lana. This is the most haunting and beautiful ballad that was released last year. A gorgeous orchestral procession of strings leads to her chilling sighs and the echoes from male backing vocals, setting up a looming atmosphere. The moment she spews her first words, you’re immediately hooked. Her deep voice, monotonous but eerily expressive, is dramatic as it blends with a new set of profound strings and she croons what has to be the most impacting opening line in a song ever,feet don’t fail me now/take me to the finish line.” Lana laments about a tragic and doomed relationship over a light hip hop beat that underlines the strings. The morbid atmosphere created by her voice and the instrumental is intense and stunning. It’s hard to turn away from it because it’s so powerful. The chorus heightens all the elements in the verses and takes the song to a whole different level. The hip hop beats are more apparent and the crying strings tug at your heart while her droning voice expresses a sadness like no other, “don’t make me sad, don’t make me cry/sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough/I don’t know why.” The way her voice rises into a high tone in the latter half of the chorus is divine and one of my favourite parts, “come and take a walk on the wild side/let me kiss you hard in the pouring rain/you like your girls insane.” It’s so amazing and the weird, echoing noises in the background are mind-blowing. All the sounds come together perfectly, painting a beautiful picture of love and loss. After the second chorus, the melody doesn’t die down and it continues with its engaging sound until the final chorus. It’s much slower and void of the hip hop beats but as her voice rises the melody explodes back to its original form. What a sublime way to start the album.

Off To The Races blew me away the first time I heard it. It’s the first song that clicked with me and made me fall in love with her music. The song is so eccentric and it’s her most evocative performance. She abruptly begins with her amazing, deep vocals and heavy percussion beats, “my old man is a bad man but I can’t deny the way he holds my hand/and he grabs me, he has me by my heart.” Thrown into the background are the screams of kids playing at a pool but they’re extremely creepy. As the verses progress, the beats get more malicious and dramatic sounds are thrown around. In the third stanza of the verse, she quickens her singing and another set of her vocals is intertwined beneath it. She turns provocative in the pre-chorus where she alters her voice into a high, childish tone. It’s so unexpected, so bizarre and surprisingly radiant. The arrangement blossoms in the chorus as the percussion gains one final push and a remarkable array of strings join the mix. The way her voice jumps between different tones and sounds is crazy. It makes for such an engrossing and addictive song. Her dive into different tones really reflects her state of mind. One minute she’s in control, “light of my life, fire of my loins/be a good baby, do what I want,” and the next she’s docile, “I need you to come here and save me/I’m your little scarlet, starlet/singing in the garden.” Her little laugh when she chants the latter lyrics is amazing and suits the persona she’s playing. This song is a treasure of brilliant production and delicious vocals. There are so many flawless vocal moments where she sounds ecstatic and then downright scary. The lyrics are so descriptive and the chorus features different lyrics each time it’s performed so the song never loses its excitement. The bridge turns out to be the most dramatic part with an intense string production as Lana gives an emotional performance, “but I trust in the decision of the lord to watch over us,” and her voice rises into a fantastic high tone, “I said ‘hun’ you never looked so beautiful as you do now my man’,” before the final chorus. This song is so vivid and she paints the story beautifully with her voice. The theatrical aspects bring the song to life and you can clearly imagine what she’s singing about. I’ve never heard a song that plays out like a film and it’s unbelievable.

Blue Jeans, another song that I could not stop playing before the album came out, is a hybrid between a mid-tempo and a ballad. The shriek of a man is echoed through the verses and the plucking of a guitar acts as the main melody. Lana confesses “you were sorta punk rock, I grew up on hip hop” which comes to fruition as the percussion provides an urban/hip hop feel. Her husky voice sends you on to a trip to the past as she references “James Dean” and throws out lines that could fit nicely on a rap song, “you’re so fresh to death and sick as cancer” and “love you more/than those bitches before.” The ballad elements come out in the chorus as she expresses her undying love and she uses her soaring high register which is laced with tragedy, “I will love you till the end of time/I would wait a million years/promise you’ll remember that you’re mine/baby can you see through the tears?” Even though the melody keeps the urban production, her vocals change mood entirely. The contrast between her vocal tones in the verses and chorus really makes this a special track because the different textures bring out different moods and the overall vintage feel is superb. I love how the drums pick up in the bridge with a dramatic force and the way she moves from her low register up into her high voice. It’s not everyday you hear a ballad collide into hip hop but it works and the whole gangster side of her image comes out in this song.

The song that started it all for Lana, Video Games, is introduced by church bells which lead into its magical melody of strings, piano, percussion and harp. It’s the most stripped-down song on the album and it shines in its simplicity. I actually came across this song early last year but I never listened to it. I kept coming across her name and when I finally decided to hear her music, late last year, she blew me away. While this isn’t the song that won me over, I’ve come to love this track. The instrumental is divine and the way it builds up as it progresses is so sweet. Once again, there’s a joyful yet tragic feel to the song that evokes such a strong emotion, “swinging in the backyard/pull up in your fast car/whistling my name/open up a beer/and you say get over here/and play a video game.” She coos with a breathy, deep voice for the majority of the song but she does heighten it a few times during the chorus. Her relaxed delivery compliments the minimal melody beautifully. When it starts entering the chorus, the swooping strings come in and fill it with a grandiose air. It’s very elegant and sensual. Her voice, as it dips high and low, is extraordinary and the lyrics are stunning, “it’s better than I ever even knew/they say that the world was built for two/only worth living if somebody is loving you/baby now you do.” Her low humming and her sugary backing vocals after the chorus are wonderful. I can’t believe I missed out on this because it’s one of the best songs released last year.

You’re no good for me/baby you’re no good for me/you’re no good for me/but baby I want you, I want you,” she chants in the intro of Diet Mountain Dew. This is unlike the previous songs because it’s very lighthearted. There are still strings and a hip hop influence but it’s all sweetened up into a delectable melody. Her cute, girly voice dominates this tune and it suits the bright arrangement. I really enjoy her balanced vocals because they have a very smooth tone. There’s more energy in the verses due to the pounding drums and her lively delivery is a breath of fresh air, “baby put on heart-shaped sunglasses/‘cause we gonna take a ride/I’m not gonna listen to what the past says/I’ve been waiting up all night.” It’s really nice to hear this side of her and the chorus makes it even better. The percussion is toned down and a vibrant, melodic piano is added which combines with the strings for an infectious melody, “diet mountain dew, baby, New York City/never was there ever a girl so pretty/do you think we’ll be in love forever?/do you think we’ll be in love?” It’s so fresh and it’s an awesome feel-good tune. The hook is extremely catchy and it’s cute, vibrant sound will get lodged in your head. The stripped chorus near the end which features just the piano is delicious and the intro is used as the backing vocals for the final chorus. It’s fun, bubbly and a great relief from the previous tracks.

Money is the reason/we exist/everybody knows it/it’s a fact/kiss, kiss.” National Anthem is one of the songs I could not wait to hear and it turned out to be better than I expected. The introduction is mind-blowing. Beautiful and powerful strings lead with the sounds of fireworks. It’s so elegant and festive but it doesn’t stay that way. Once the introductory strings are concluded, a doom and gloom melody of percussion and malicious strings takes over. The entire track is filled with dread and despair due to the war-like instrumental. It’s paired with her somber voice which takes the darkness even further, “I’m your national anthem/God, you’re so handsome/take me to the Hamptons/Bugatti Veyron.” Her delivery is fantastic and it makes the song so addicting. The chorus is beyond amazing as the arrangement crescendos as Lana chants one of the catchiest hooks, “red, white, blue is in the sky/summer’s in the air and baby, heaven’s in your eyes/I’m your national anthem.” It’s dark but there’s so much energy and intensity contained in the chorus. Her vocals soar to incredible heights and the chanting backing vocals really make it feel like an anthem. Her faux-rap in the breakdown is hot and I love the way she enunciates certain words, “excessive buying, overdose and dying” and “boy, put your hands up/give me a standing ovation.” This is everything I hoped it would be and it’s such a gem. It’s exciting, crazy and her delivery is impeccable. This is one of the highlights and it’s truly amazing.

Dark Paradise is a standout track for many people and it’s easy to see why. With a haunting melody of lush percussion and the gentle strokes of guitar and piano that has a ray of light shining beneath it, Lana takes on the role of a Siren and delivers her most impressive vocal performance. She grieves for a lost love, conveying her undying love for the person through an emotional and invigorating tone. Sadness, desire and longing are all portrayed effortlessly by her angelic voice and her Siren call in the verses is otherworldly, “loving you forever can’t be wrong/even though you’re not here, won’t move on/ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ahh/that’s how we played it.” It’s an unexpected, magical note and one of the reasons why I love this song. The slight key change in the pre-chorus elevates the song and the lyrics are so depressing, “but I wish I was dead (dead like you).” In the chorus, the magic is stronger as immaculate strings transcend it into a dream-like state and it melts your heart, “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.” The hook is beautiful and breathtaking, a true feast for the ears. The song continues to blow my mind when it hits the bridge and it’s, hands-down, the best on the album. Her vocalizing, “oh-oh-oh-oh-hah-hah-hah-hah,” is impossible to resist. It’s immensely addicting and brings an upbeat vibe to the song. The way her voice strains into a high register makes it more enticing. The bridge is also utilized as the song’s outro but it appears in a down-tempo form and it’s the perfect closing. This is Lana’s most enchanting track and its beauty resonates loud.

I am so obsessed with the album’s summer anthem, Radio. I wasn’t expecting it to sound so breezy and the instant she sang the opening line I was completely drawn in. “Not even they can stop me now,” she purrs with her deep, rich voice. With the crackling of the speakers, the echoing synths and the licks of the guitar, it gives the impression that it will follow suit in the sound of the previous songs but then the melody cheers up as the percussion beats come to life and her voice shifts to a hopeful tone where she announces, “I’ve finally found you.” Then the feel-good chorus takes you on a musical high. All the instruments are induced with a consuming brightness and her fluttering vocals are beautiful. It’s such a mood lifter and it’s one of the most infectious hooks on the album, thanks to the upbeat arrangement, “now my life is sweet like cinnamon/like a fucking dream I’m livin’ in.” I love how she even throws in a line which can be interpreted for the haters, “baby love me ‘cause I’m playing on the radio/how do you like me now?” Throw in some digitized backing vocals, reverberating synths and percussion and you have the delicious bridge which takes the already amazing aspects of the chorus and intensifies them. The final chorus is beyond epic and made so much better by the addition of a glorious flute. This is one of the most memorable songs because of how cheerful and different it sounds from the rest of the album but it still manages to fit in without throwing off the flow.

Carmen wasn’t an instant hit for me but after I listened to the album a few more times and became familiar with it, I started to see how amazing it really is. It doesn’t have the immediate infectiousness of other tracks but there’s a unique quality to it that makes it a standout. The sound of a car/motorcycle is enveloped in the crying strings and it leads to the mysterious ambience of the verses. Lana carries that mystifying feel into her droning voice as she sings about the curious character of Carmen, “darlin’, darlin’/doesn’t have a problem/lyin’ to herself/‘cause her liquor’s top shelf.” The production has a very mature sound to it and it’s terrifyingly ominous with gritty strings, the soft licks of a piano and a looming percussion beat. The tragedy of Carmen’s story becomes more apparent as it intensifies in the pre-chorus where her voice is struck with death, “she says you don’t wanna be like me/don’t wanna see all the things I’ve seen/I’m dyin’, I’m dyin’.” The dramatic chorus is touched by an overwhelming despair because of the weeping strings, heavier beats and her evocative vocals. “The boys, the girls/they all like Carmen/she gives them butterflies/bats her cartoon eyes/she laughs like God/her mind’s like a diamond/audiotune lies/she’s still shinin’/like lightning/white lightning,” she chants and I love the way her register rises as she reaches the end, stuttering her words to the beat. The song then delves into pure sophistication as the strings take all the attention for the bridge where a woman speaks French. It really adds a different dynamic to the song and takes it to a whole new level. The French suits the song’s overall feel and is a very welcome addition.

Lana is taken into the cool setting of jazz with the warm and passionate ballad, Million Dollar Man. As expected, this jazz number is so different compared to its usual sound. Jazz rarely ventures into darkness but this one breathes and lives it. “And I don’t know how you get over, get over/someone as dangerous, tainted, and flawed as you,” she coos to a sultry blend of piano chords, drums and a murmuring set of strings. Furthermore, this track is very unique because of her vocal tone. Her voice is the anchor that holds it together and it’s really pushed to the forefront. She performs with her laid-back style but in a slightly higher pitch than usual. There’s a tough and gritty element to her voice but laced over that is a fragility that still manages to capture the silkiness of the smooth jazz composition. The different textures of her voice really come out to play and it makes this a euphoric delicacy. The lyrics are wonderfully crafted, insightful and gorgeous. Every word and note she sings carries a strong meaning and passion. It’s such an emotional tune and she puts her heart into every word. I love the second verse because she sinks into a fantastic high note and it just gives me goose bumps every time, “you got the world/but baby, at what price?/something so strange/hard to define.” Once the chorus hits, her voice transcends beauty as she flows between high and low tones that mesmerize, “one for the money/two for the show/I love you honey/I’m ready, I’m ready to go.” The melody crescendos slightly and a wailing, ghostly beat is embedded into it. Despite the overall dark atmosphere, it’s very sophisticated and soothing. There’s also a seductive and sexual feel to it that resonates louder as the song progresses. This was one of my most anticipated tracks and it’s another song that blew me way. It’s definitely a favourite of mine and just hearing how lush her voice is, is enough to win anyone over.

Atmospheric synths and the rich, gentle twang of a guitar opens Summertime Sadness, a fan favourite and Lana’s favourite tune from the record.  “I got my red dress on tonight/dancing in the dark in the pale moonlight/done my hair up real big, beauty queen style/high heels off, I’m feeling alive,” she coos to a marching drum beat, her elegant voice drizzled with a huskiness. The music is raised just a touch for the pre-chorus where her voice elevates in pitch and she exudes a confidence as she sings “honey I’m on fire, I feel it everywhere/nothing scares me anymore.” The chorus is where all the magic happens and her breathy vocals bring on such an addicting aura. I love the desolate feel of the melody which is really brought out by the lonely guitar and her emotive performance, “kiss me hard before you go/summertime sadness/I just wanted you to know/that baby, you the best.” In the post-chorus the song suddenly morphs into an up-tempo with a more engaging instrumental. Her voice mimics the increase in vibrancy and the way she repeats and stutters “I got that summertime, summertime sadness” is highly contagious. She manages to slip into her high register for the bridge and the sweeter arrangement works wonders with her tone, bringing hopefulness to the melody. A version of the post-chorus, focusing only on the strings, acts as the transition to the final chorus and it builds back into it perfectly. This song has it all. The warmth and love of summer all resonate through the melody. The typical associations with summer, new life and pure love, are all very evident and the lingering sense of loss that Lana so perfectly crafts into her music comes together in a magnificent way. That’s why I love this track so much. It’s a very hopeful but dark song mixed with the taste of summertime.

This Is What Makes Us Girls is a female anthem about rebelling, falling in love and being sixteen. Almost like reading out of a diary, Lana reminisces on her teenage years, “remember how we used to party up all night/sneakin’ out and lookin’ for a taste of real life/drinkin’ in the small town firelight/Pabst Blue Ribbon on ice.” What makes this song so enjoyable are the rebellious nature of the lyrics and the constant build-up of the melody. The song, at first, has a slick, laid-back arrangement of strings but for every stanza it gets busier. Percussion beats are added to the second stanza while banging drums join the rest of the instruments in the pre-chorus for a heavier melody as Lana employs a higher vocal tone, “runnin’ from the cops in our black bikini tops/screamin’, ‘get us while we’re hot/get us while we’re hot’/come on take a shot.” I love her delivery on this track. When the melody is laid-back she uses a lower register but as the instrumental blossoms her voice mimics it and becomes girly. Her sweet, feminine vocals melt into the track amazingly well and it’s a great match for the subject matter. “This is what makes us girls/we all look for heaven and we put our love first/something that we’d die for, it’s a curse/don’t cry about it, don’t cry about it,” she sings and the arrangement gets one last makeover as it increases tempo, becoming even more amazing and infectious. I love the all’s fair in love and war mentality of the chorus and it’s obsession with love. She easily conveys the themes associated with sweet sixteen and young romance. My favourite part of the song is its dark bridge where she whispers “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.” The melody dies down for a lush array of strings, chimes and there’s even screaming in the background.  She paints a picture of her and her friends, intensifying and expanding on the ideas presented in the chorus. I love how it suddenly shifts to a depressing tone as Lana admits “they were the only friends I ever had.” The tragedy of the song comes out in that one moment and it’s the first time where you actually feel for this group of friends.

Without You begins with one of my favourite opening lines ever, “everything I want, I have/money, notoriety and Rivieras/I even think I found God/in the flash bulbs of the pretty cameras.” Her voice is astonishing as she expresses dissatisfaction and grief. Her husky tone is paired with a simplistic chirping, piano and acoustic guitar-driven beat. Though simple, it’s such a captivating opening that draws you in with its vulnerability.  There’s a moment of silence after the verse and what comes next is a beautiful and angelic array of instruments and vocals. “Hello, hello/ca-can you hear me?/I can be your china doll/If you want to see me fall,” she croons, sounding fragile as if she’ll break any moment. She puts all of her emotions out on display and the livelier arrangement is so magical. The percussion gives it a much greater impact and emotional pull. The way her voice strengthens when she sings “I have nothing without you/all my dreams and all the lights mean/nothing without you” is glorious. It flows extremely well and the way she drags “nothing” for that slight second makes all the difference. The sad lyrics are enough to pull at your heartstrings but Lana takes it even further with her delicate voice. The lingering sense of unconditional love is tragically affected when the realization of lost love occurs, “can you picture it/babe, that life we could’ve lived.” It’s such a melodic track and it impresses me every time I listen to it. The bridge takes it in a new direction with its dazzling production and her upbeat vocals. What follows is a subdued version of the chorus that brings a different flavour to it and it leads into the final, epic chorus. This is a wonderful song with amazing production and lyrics.

The dark, ominous and dramatic strings that introduce Lolita are fierce. It’s definitely surprising because it’s so malicious and different from the strings that dominate the rest of the album. For the verses, a plethora of strange and sexy hip-hop beats are utilized while she performs in a vocal style that does not appear anywhere else on the album. “It’s you that I adore/though I make the boys fall like dominoes,” she sings in a high voice that takes on a very childish and sexual nature that reflects the title of the track perfectly. The ominous production becomes overtly sexual when Lana begins chanting and teasing with her backing vocals, “kiss me in the D-A-R-K, dark tonight/(D-A-R-K, do it my way)/kiss me in the P-A-R-K, park tonight/(P-A-R-K, let them all say).” It’s the highlight of the track and her delivery is exceptional, especially her backing vocals. The chorus is packed with a dramatic sound thanks to the heavy drums, claps and strings. This is the loudest and most in-your-face melody that the album boasts and it’s a breath of fresh air “hey Lolita, hey!/hey Lolita, hey!/I know what the boys want, I’m not gonna play.” Bringing this sound to the album makes it stand out that much more and it certainly is a much-needed track. The energy of the melody and vocals is totally addicting. The sadistic, sexual tone that she dominates with is flawless and even near the end of the album she’s showcasing another side to her voice. She embodies the role of a vixen in the bridge where she muses provocatively, “I want my cake and I want to eat it too/I want to have fun and be in love with you.” Lana has the most fun she’s had on the entire album and it’s playful, sexual atmosphere will have many hooked.

Lucky Ones closes the album and it does so in the best possible way. I had no idea what to expect from it but it turned out to be the most magical ballad on the album. What makes this special is its light at the end of the tunnel feel. Lana hooks you in with the first line, sung a capella, “let’s get outta this town, baby we’re on fire.” The instrumental comes to life right after with grandiose strings that are heavenly. The melody is elegance at its finest. Her celestial voice is so full of passion and it flutters into a breathless beauty at the end of each line. During the pre-chorus, her voice rises to such an extraordinary high register that is downright amazing,” I got so scared/I thought no one could save me/you came along, scooped me up like a baby.” The chorus is the most hopeful, loving and blissful moment on the album and it’s a listen to behold. The bells and strings are so beautiful and full of life. Her voice breathes a happiness that she rarely conveys and it’s refreshing, “every now and then the stars align/boy and girl meet by the great design/could it be that you and me are the lucky ones?” For an album that relishes in the dark side of love, this is a complete 180 but it still carries that delicious vintage and cinematic feel. Lana continues to impress with her angelic vocals in the bridge where she proclaims “feels like, feels like, you know it feels like/falling in love for the first time.” The outro really allows the instrumental to shine and you get to hear the great display of strings. It’s stunning from start to finish and it’s such an optimistic track, the complete opposite of the opening track. All in all, this is an unbelievable way to end the album.

Conclusion: Born To Die was hyped up so much but Lana delivered and went beyond all expectations. Her album is one of the most stunning pieces of work I have ever had the pleasure of listening to and it gets better the more I hear it. The production is marvelous as are the lyrics that accompany them. Her entire look reflects, so perfectly, what her album represents. Her voice is unbelievable and it’s great to see an artist who plays with their voice constantly. Throughout the album, she showcases so many different textures and sides to her voice. It’s very rare for an artist to jump between registers as frequently as she does but it makes her so interesting. She’s doing what no other artist has done before. She creates a world where hip hop mingles with the glamorous and retro side of Hollywood. Blending these two sounds is an unusual pairing but it results in mesmerizing productions. The string melodies are some of the most extravagant and gorgeous ones I’ve heard. It makes the album stand out from all other releases and its unique vintage sound is not being explored by any other artists at the moment. Lana has a sound that is distinctively hers and hers alone. There’s a unifying sound and tone that is carried through the album but there isn’t a moment on it where I feel that a song sounds similar to another. Furthermore, there are also lyrical connections between songs and it bonds the tracks together. These repeated phrases reveal the authenticity of the record. These are real experiences that are significant and have been lived out by the songstress. Each song has its own unique feel, message and beauty. This results in a very cohesive record with songs that bring something new to it while remaining true to the overall theme. Lana brings two worlds, love and death, together in a stunning way. The album is very dark but there are few moments of pure bliss that overwhelm you with joy. The album is full of surprises and there’s not a single song I consider weak. They’re all crafted to perfection. Lana Del Rey has proven that she is a truly amazing and unique artist. Her music isn’t just a listening experience. It’s a visual one as well because every song paints a picture and the whole album has a very theatrical and cinematic feel. I’ve never experienced this with an album before and she really brings you into her world. Lana has come along way from her first album. The themes and sound are still there but they’ve been improved. Her voice has developed well and she sounds richer, using deep tones she never explored before. Many have hoped she would fade into obscurity but looking at the success of the album, it looks like she won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Born To Die starts the year on a high note and even though it’s just the beginning of the year, the album is definitely going to be a contender for “Album of the Year.”

Recommended Tracks: Radio, Without You, Summertime Sadness, Million Dollar Man, Off To The Races, Born To Die, Lucky Ones, National Anthem, Dark Paradise, Blue Jeans and Video Games




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  1. Finally an intelligent well thought analysis of a rare musical / lyrical banquet .Thank you for exploring the deeper meanings to some of the lyrics .and helping us to hear the many layers ,tones,textures of Lanas voice ; and the way her voice dances with the music amazing results .thank you for doing your job well and not taking the easy way like many so called music critics and saying nothing useful .Its rare to see one who actually works for their paycheck .You deserve applause .

    • Wow, thanks so much for the awesome comment. It means a lot to me!

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