So not every single post is going to be about east coast music. Maybe like a 70/30 split. Sometimes I might feel inclined to write about other things… so here are some musing that fit into that “other 30%” bracket.
At first I wasn’t sure what all the fuss was about. When I googled Lana Del Rey, my initial impression was that she must be a singer from the 50’s or 60’s I just hadn’t heard of. (If this makes no sense to you, do a google image search for her and things should click). Then I went to YouTube and saw what was going on there. With millions of hits on her songs Video Games, Born to Die, and Blue Jeans (which sounds a LOT like Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game), Lana Del Rey seems like the next big thing from the internet… the latest in Bieber-esque success stories. She’s pretty, she’s young, and her voice is unique and not what you would expect to come out of her body. For the purposes of first impressions, she seemed cool. Then she showed up on SNL, possibly under the influence of something, but most definitely nervous (as I can only assume is fairly normal for most artists performing on a show of that nature). It wasn’t the absolute worst performance of all time. You could tell she was really singing and not lip-syncing or auto-tuned, but it certainly wasn’t an A+ delivery of the song. She was subsequently dragged through the mud by the critics, and I don’t know if we’ve heard much from her since.
Based on this whole to-do, my interest in her was once again piqued. I like the song Video Games, and I really like Born to Die (although I don’t love the video). But who exactly is this young lady who came out of nowhere and made such a name for herself? My googling re-commenced.
So as it turns out, Lana Del Rey is actually Lizzie Grant. She released an album under her previous name which didn’t do so well. So she had an image makeover (and perhaps a facial injectable or two) and TA-DA! Nancy Sinatra look-alike and internet phenom Lana Del Rey was born.
And I still can’t decide how this sits with me. Does she have a talent? I would say yes. Is she manufactured? I would also say yes. But I don’t feel that just because an artist has a management team who “put them together”, that should really make them any less enjoyable. I’ve got a lot of love for Lady Gaga, and she too created an alternate persona for herself, and then became wildly successful. Still… my gut instinct is to favor the artist who “does it themselves”. One who writes their own songs, one who can play an instrument, one who is perhaps more authentic. But who knows, Lizzie/Lana is still relatively young. Maybe she’s just finding herself. We shall see. For now I’m a fan of the songs, but I’m withholding judgment on whether or not I’m a fan of the artist.