[Lana Del Rey x Born To Die]
[Dropped January 31, 2012]
[Regular Version: 12 Tracks, 49:26; Deluxe Version: 15 Tracks, 1:00:41]
If you haven’t gotten a taste of Lana Del Rey or heard any of the buzz that’s been circulating about this new artist over the past 5 months, you’ve either been living under a rock or you don’t have a pulse. She sits at the top of 2012′s list of artists to watch out for this year and her sound and [brand] have already made a huge (and slightly controversial) impact on the world of music. With a deep, haunting voice and an amazing dose of sex appeal (brought on after a huge rebrand), this “gangstafied” bombshell dropped Born To Die, her debut LP as Lana Del Rey, on Tuesday and, after months of waiting for it, I finally got my copy last night.
I love consistency when it comes to artists and brands and Del Rey has that. Her vocal tone remains smooth and solid from start to finish and each track takes me on a trip. I feel like I’m having a flashback to some crazy type of 40′s or ’50s lifestyle mixed with the societal norms of the ’90s and 2000′s. Her voice and the music behind each track remind me of an earlier time in our country’s history, but her lyrics connect to experiences that we can all relate to, whether it’s falling hopelessly, even destructively, in love or wild and crazy nights hopping the fence to the hotel swimming pool around the block. I broke up the tracks into three sections below.
When I first saw the official track listing, I was surprised to see that I had half of the album already, but I was pleasantly surprised when I pressed play. Most of the previously released tracks were pushed toward the front of the album, however, two of them came with major revamps. Covered with completely new layers of music, the mastered versions of Diet Mountain Dew and National Anthem are completely different from the leaked versions. Listening to National Anthem and Blue Jeans, I really got a feel for her love of hip-hop. She goes hard with the lyrics in the bridge for National Anthem and it makes you just want to nod your head as she goes in. Needless to say, Born To Die, Off To The Races, & Video Games are amazing tracks that I could listen to all day (and I actually do!).
Once I got to Track 7, I sat up in my seat and got ready for a treat. I love two things about Lana: 1) she writes her own music that shares special and believable stories with you and 2) she’s unapologetically raw. She paints pictures with her lyrics, whether they’re beautiful images or ugly masterpieces. She doesn’t hide what she’s feeling and she tells the truth; the truth about growing up, love, and heartache. Each song is like a different chapter in her past and I think they’re each worth reading.
Now, what kind of fan would I be if I didn’t get the deluxe version? This version of Born To Die comes with three bonus tracks, one of which was leaked long ago. I had Lolita on my computer already, but I never really took the time to listen to it much, but I think it shows that, although her brand has changed, her music and quality of work has remained pretty much the same. I think ending the album with Lucky Ones was a good look. It’s not too fast and it’s not too slow; it’s just right. I think it really shows the beauty and uniqueness of her voice.
All in all, I’d say the album is solid. I think she’s got a good future ahead of her and I’m anxious to see how she plays the game. This album is…