Lana Del Rey’s debut album, “Born to Die” dropped this week, and it has received mixed reviews. I’m listening to it now and most of the tracks aside from the ones that popularized her on the Internet are so-so, although the more I listen to them the more I like them. Kind of like when I listened to “Video Games” the first couple of times after my friend Amar introduced me to her.
A negative review of the album from the New York Times: “‘Born to Die’ doesn’t solve Ms. Del Rey’s problems because it isn’t aware of them; it’s a multiple choice test with every answer scanned, ‘C.'”
A positive review of the album from NPR: “Del Rey sings about her quote-unquote ‘tar-black soul’ but I think at her best, she’s got a good, red-romantic heart.”
I’m pretty much caught in the middle, as well, especially after her horrific performance on Saturday Night Live two weeks ago in which she totally bombed both “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans.” You can watch the first performance here and cringe all you’d like:
This week, she redeemed herself on the Letterman show with a really amazing performance of the same song. If you are only going to watch one, watch this one – heavy on the piano and strings, but not enough to overpower her voice – very nicely done, Wool of the King (what “lana del rey” means in Spanish).
Here is her Letterman show performance:
So now that you’ve seen her at her best and her worst, and you can listen to the album and judge for yourself – what do you think? I think that there is just a glimmer of talent behind all the hype – and I’m happy for her, and hope she continues to improve.