My friend Chris (who the four of you who read this blog may remember from my album on Texas Flood, or probably know in real life) recommended a month or so ago that I listen to Lana Del Rey’s sophomore effort. Having started a new job in which I am able to listen to music freely while I work, I did just that earlier today. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the lyrical masterpiece of melodramatic nostalgia-pop for which I was hoping. It was, frankly, shit.
There are two tunes on it which I would categorise as tolerable, and even that’s a bit of a stretch. They are ‘Video Games’ and ‘Blue Jeans’. I’ll also concede that ‘Summertime Sadness’ is—well, just worse than tolerable, so I suppose that would be sufferable. The rest, though, don’t only not do anything for me—they positively aggravate me.
How she is seen is a distinctive pop artist I don’t understand, considering tracks like ‘National Anthem’ and ‘Off to the Races’ are distinctly commercial pop songs. It just so happens that Del Rey (or the team she has behind her writing her lyrics/composing her music/deciding what clothes she should wear) decided that if they were to pull a few quasi-literate clichés from the diaries of Tumblr-indoctrinated adolescents, they might be able to coat her obvious banality in a veneer of hipster edginess—you know, the sort you might find lurking in those sepia perfume adverts, or on the worse bits of Instagram that aren’t friends taking selfies/people flexing.
Chris has really missed the mark here. I understand what makes Rey (I’m slowly using fewer of her names in a subtle attempt at ridicule) so popular, and it only makes me more annoyed. If you want something edgy, go listen to Thomas Köner.