So yeah, Lana Del Rey's got an album out…Haven't you heard? Oh its probably because the promotion's been super subtle... Oh wait! Yeap, its time for the TTR two cents re: Del Rey. You must've known it was coming, we're pretty sure even Horse and Hound are doing a feature on her. Yes the pucker-lipped princess of the pseudonym is everywhere, and it seems the great swathes of initial awe and lust are moving in a more questioning direction.
Her album is getting a bit of a slamming review wise, despite being number one in like every country. She's Louis Vuitton clad on the front of Vogue (no mean feet after what… two singles?) But who she actually is seems to be at the forefront of everyone's minds. And to be honest, its not that hard to see why.
The thing about using a stage name is that the first thing the press ask is, "So, err, what's your real name?" as soon as theres the slightest hint of the disingenuous, a whiff of deception, the investigation pitches up, and unfortunately for Lana, well Lizzy to be precise, there's yellow tape, all round her crime scene… The media smell a rat.
She's not the first to pop into the cultural consciousness from a few YouTube videos and a nice set of pins, but she is definitely something different to what dominates the mainstream right now. Whereas Rihanna is a product of Beyonce, Nikki Minaj a product of Lil Kim and Gaga a product of, well, the list's too long, Lana's not like your average top 40er. There's certainly borrowed elements: a little Winehouse-eqsue pain, some of the weird disconnect you get from Florence and the Machine and those Monroe references are constant - but her delivery, her look, her approach is something new. And that's tough. When you're something new, and you want to be 'accepted' you have to spend a lot of time making the idiots 'get it'. People spend a lot of time going…"oh? so this is like, what your about? ...really?"
The issue with Lana Del Rey, is that her answers don't seem water tight. One minute she's fresh from a trailer park, all ghetto nails and heartbreak, next minute theres a billionaire daddy backing her to the hilt. She's pitching herself as the 'Gangster Nancy Sinatra' but we're pretty sure Nance' woulda made a bit less of a pig's ear of that Saturday Night Live performance. Next thing you know, the tabloids are squawking: 'She's buckling under the pressure'…'Friend's say she's cracking'. They've only known her name five minutes that didn't take long.
Being something different, carving your own hole into the industry and nestling comfortably in there is what separates the wheat from the chaff, it's the stuff great stardom is made from. The aforementioned Winehouse is a prime example of this, but if there's one thing the media never questioned was whether she was genuine. In fact it seems the more genuine are in this field, the more likely you are to meet an untimely demise, maybe Lana's just protecting herself from this glare with a suit of armour made of denim and sex appeal, but that seems unlikely. She's probs just got a good stylist. That's the thing with Del Rey is its hard to know if she's just some girl with a good team of image makers and a nice Barnet, or the 'real deal' whatever that might be.
Our instinct is that we won't get that answer for a while. What makes a performer is their live offerings, no matter what her die hard fans say she still has some stuff to prove on that front. If it turns out her whole persona is as surgically pumped up as her top lip, its pretty likely she'll be chewed up and spat out before you can say 'collagen'. But if that's really her, we've got a fucking superstar on our hands.
'Born to Die' is out now.
Posted on February 02, 2012 at 3:47:49 by Alice Nyong