Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Lana Del Rey: World Askew

"Heaven is place on earth with you"
You know the world is askew when it's dumping scorn on a popstar rather than more deserving folks like, oh, maybe Bashar al-Assad or the New England Patriots. It begs the question, "No one could that bad, could they?" No, they couldn't, not even Lana Del Rey. By now the overkill of hate has reached the ridiculous - here's SNL's parody from last weekend:

When I first heard the "Video Games" single I thought of David Lynch's protégé from the late 80s, the hauntingly vacuous Julee Cruise:

"Video Games" is stuffed with familiar Lynchian tropes like depraved celebrities acting out beneath wilted palms and sun-smeared horizons all caught on authentically retro Super 8 film stock:

It's effective and affective, conjuring something both glacially distant and seductively intimate. Apparently, it was too much "affect" for many, including the dopes at Rolling Stone and Pitchfork who lined up like lemmings to skewer Del Rey's new album, Born To Die.

According to producer David Kahne, there's more to her than swollen lips and a Lolita fixation:
"What she is doing goes against the grain of chart pop, which is about getting to the club on Friday night. The country is fraying at the edges; she wanted to look at that edge, at destruction and loss, and talk about it."
Too bad the rest of the album isn't as good as "Video Games." Spin's Rob Harvilla gets it right: "This record is not godawful. Nor is it great. But it's better than we deserve. We broke her; we bought her."

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