Lana Del Rey
Born to Die


5.0
classic

Review

by Shaquille O'Neal USER (2 Reviews)
August 6th, 2019 | 41 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: you ungrateful fucks

Lana del Rey is smarter than you.

It's not just the references, or the fact she's more literate or plugged-in; it's the whole spectacular edifice. The image is everything, substance nothing. Do any among you remember a time when Lana did not exist" No. Perhaps a hazy recollection of the first half of 2011, before she invented nostalgia in super-saturated technicolor.

Video Games hit like a bolt from the pale blue beyond, its montage accompaniment slipping past a cellophane gift-wrap of absolute surrender. Piano chords pulse while strings strain heavenward and collapse, punctuated with the occasional shimmer of a harp. "Hold me in your big arms / Drunk and I am seeing stars / This is all I think of." Mindless and vacant, there is only oblivion in her eyes.

Blue Jeans continued in much the same vein. "You so fresh to death and sick as ca-cancer." Staff writer Channing Freeman errs gravely when he asserts that lyrically the album is a mess — do not think this impudence went unnoticed. Everything is of a piece, down to the last cliché: James Dean, punk rock, hip-hop, gangsta, chasing paper. All that beautiful kitsch Americana set to a Chris Isaak love ballad.

Indeed, as Lana blithely coos a few tracks later on National Anthem: "Money is the reason / We exist / Everybody knows it, it's a fact / Kiss-kiss." For our nihilist nymphet, rich and powerful men are merely means to an end: "God you're so handsome / Um, do you think you'll buy me lots of diamonds"" A$AP Rocky was the real first black president, not that mediocre pretender Obama.

Lana basks in her own objectification, dully indifferent to the ambient materialism of the world. Her pussy tastes like Pepsi-Cola, as we learned from Paradise Edition the following year. She has a taste for aging playboys and biker daddies who get her from Point A to Point B; she makes no excuses for herself and does not expect anyone's sympathy.

Off to the Races channels Nabokov, again nodding at all the bygone glories of a previous age. Chateau Marmont, Cipriani's basement, lilac fumes and cases of Bacardi chasers. One hears the far-off noise of an outdoor pool scene. This is reprised once again in Lolita, on the next album, in concept if not in sound. Ever Lynchian, with cinematic swells and sudden rushes of sound.

Summertime Sadness and Born to Die seem cut from this same cloth. At least in its more lachrymose original, the former swoons toward self-destruction. Later Cedric Gervais would remix it and make a chart-topping banger, but the vinyl version features bells from an old-time Hollywood Western ringing out over the roll of drums. Born to Die, the title track, is another throwback anthem with Lana cast in the role of femme fatale.

Yet it is in Dark Paradise that Born to Die reaches its sinister apotheosis. "Every time I close my eyes / It's like a dark paradise / No one compares to you." There it all is, the faux-tragic mask of simulated devotion and put-on naïveté. Lana wears her whole schtick like cheap makeup, a lipstick smear across the infinite. Reveries of the American Nightmare. Another reviewer summarized it well: "Bougie dreams / Silent screams."

Much has been made of Lana's presumptive inauthenticity. Or at least much was made of it at the time, around when the album was released. It's all fake, of course, which is what makes it real (hence "blurring the lines between real and the fake"). Her entire persona is carefully calculated, even curated. Why would it ever be any different"


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Comments:Add a Comment 
DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
August 6th 2019


15517 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this review is exceptional

Digging: Slipknot - We Are Not Your Kind

SowingSeason
Moderator
August 6th 2019


31928 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

in a lot of ways

Digging: Off With Their Heads - Be Good

Get Low
August 6th 2019


6111 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

easy pos

TVC15
August 6th 2019


10169 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pos for the summary and rating alone

BigAristotle
August 6th 2019


44 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

meant for the review to be longer but accidentally hit submit



any way to edit it?

joshieboy
August 6th 2019


6845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Idk what's goin on with this review, but this is by far my fav Lana

Digging: The Dangerous Summer - Mother Nature

Gyromania
August 6th 2019


28202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

best lana album

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
August 6th 2019


17375 Comments


“off to the races” still bang? Lemme see

Gyromania
August 6th 2019


28202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yes it does. as does carmen, born to die, and video games

alamo
August 6th 2019


1593 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

correct

TVC15
August 6th 2019


10169 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Entire album bangs

alamo
August 6th 2019


1593 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

summertime is nice and hot and my life is sweet like vanilla is

gold and silver line my heart but burned into my brain are these stolen images

stolen images baby, stolen images

can you picture it babe, the life we could've lived?

DANcore
August 6th 2019


385 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This review brought tears to my eyes

LaughingSkull
August 6th 2019


605 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

meant for the review to be longer but accidentally hit submit

any way to edit it?




Go to "My Profile", then under your avatar there should be an "Edit my Reviews" button.

BigAristotle
August 6th 2019


44 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thanks

BigAristotle
August 6th 2019


44 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

who the FUCK downvoted my review

alamo
August 6th 2019


1593 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

probably casavir

Skoj
August 6th 2019


1795 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This is definitely Channing's alt.

Pikazilla
August 6th 2019


2276 Comments


So saving that 1 for her new album.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
August 6th 2019


17375 Comments


hate “blue jeans” tho



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