Ok, let the hated commence. Lana Del Rey is subjected to a ridiculous amount of bilious animosity for reasons I can’t quite fathom. The pathetically softy liberal in me wonders if she’d be the victim of such loathing if she weren’t an attractive woman- girls can’t be talented, probably only where she is because she shagged the right people (an idea satirised by Del Rey herself in Fucked My Way to the Top), Billy Corgan’s probably writing the songs, all about ethics in video game journalism etc etc. People’s main complaint about Lana is that she has the shocking temerity to not be exactly the same as she portrays herself in her songs. This is an affront to music’s longheld authenticity- Nick Cave really did kill Kylie Minogue with a rock, Prince of course really does do 23 positions in a one night stand, and of course Johnny Cash really did shoot a man in Reno just to watch him die.* Can’t we instead applaud Del Rey’s commitment to a character? Isn’t that wonderful artifice part of what makes pop music so brilliant? Rather than avoiding obvious self-parody, Lana instead revels in her lyrical standards and throws herself completely into the conceit- every other second, there’s a bourbon or a bad boy or a gun, she’s continually taking little red dresses off or putting them on. ‘Ultraviolence’ is a wonderfully lush sounding record more uniformally better and certainly more consistant than her debut, though the highs aren’t quite as high.
*thanks to Alexis Petradis for that Cash analogy, I couldn’t better it