Lana Del Rey makes up for bad SNL performance with new album
After an unsuccessful performance on Saturday Night Live, alternative singer Lana Del Rey has released her new album “Born to Die.” The album showcases the singer’s eclectic and random style while still being cohesive.
Her Saturday Night Live performance overflowed with circle walking and hair flipping which left viewers feeling awkward and unsure about whether they had just watched a performance or a skit. Critics called her distant and one even labeled hers as the worst performance ever. The album has debuted number 2 on The Billboard Top 200 which definitely cancels out the negative reviews of her Saturday Night Live performance.
Rey is an artist in the sense that she knows how to bring many mediums together. Her music features sound bytes of speeches, hooting animals, and a wide array of instruments. Her videos are quite symbolic and feature psychedelic imagery.
The first song on the album is titled “Born to Die.” The first song on any album should always set the tone and this one did not quite cut it. The track itself is rather boring in comparison to the other songs, but it isn’t terrible. It merely introduces what the album is about. It’s a love song accompanied by other love songs on the album and it is poetic. This song also features animal sounds and conversation bits which is a common thing in most of the tracks.
One of the best songs is “Off to the Races.” It’s poetic and romantic. The featuring of sound bytes really makes this song work. The song is weird and quirky and fits Rey’s sultry deep voice perfectly. Her deep drawl and interesting phrases like “cocaine heart” make the song unique.
The love-related songs on the album are not typical sappy love songs. They’re filled with imagery that isn’t depicted too often in pop music. “National Anthem” is just one example of this. The song itself is a narrative filled with images and events that make up a love story. It has one of the strongest beats on the album. The strong beat contrasted with the soft whispering of Rey really makes the song stand out on the album.
The styles of the tracks vary from song to song. “Diet Mountain Dew” is one song that carries a reggae-like sound while “National Anthem” features the singer rapping. The variations in style both benefit and hurt the album. Rey is quite the eclectic performer so the differences in styles work well. While the instrumentals might all be distinct, Rey’s voice is pretty flat in most of the songs.
Rey is a singer but she includes talking and whispering quite often in her songs. Her commitment to the music on the album takes away from the awkwardness that she exhibited on stage during her Saturday Night Live performance.
All of the talking and whispering does take away from Rey’s true vocal chops. Songs like “Dark Paradise” show off her wide vocal range. The song is powerful vocally and the lyrics are beautiful also. Rey also has a knack for sounding haunting and it works well in this song. If she had performed “Dark Paradise” and “Summertime Sadness” during her Saturday Night Live performance she would have received much better reviews because these songs show off her vocal skills.
Her unique sound is what works for Rey so “This is what makes us Girls” does not work on the album. The song is the worst song on the album. It is out of place and doesn’t compliment Rey’s voice at all. Rey has such great range, her voice works well both deep and high pitched, but she stays high pitched in this song and it comes off as annoying and superficial.
This album is definitely worth a listen. It’s great for those looking for something new and for art students looking for inspiration. Rey’s music stays true to the singer’s persona and even sounds like she’s making it herself. It’s different and original in comparison to the “mainstream” music that is out today.
Chioma Iheoma is an A&E Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com