Diamonds, sex and drugs found in Paradise


Album cover pic: sourced

Tinika Nuen|

Rating: 4/5

She sees herself as a “self-style gangsta Nancy Sinatra”. Lana Del Rey’s fashion and singing style match her self-fashioned identity in the album Paradise EP. Her theme of love entangles itself in the glamorous and sordid lifestyle of the American ‘50s and 60’s. Experimentation in this album is so subtle in its seductiveness.

Earlier this year, at the Brit awards, Del Rey went home with the title of International female solo artist. Even though she is American born, she is more popular in the UK and in Europe.

In comparison to her prior album, Born to Die, her insipid approach to female identities lacks the experimentation seen in Paradise EP. Rolling Stone comments that she struggles to bring out the dark side of the American Dream.

However, with Paradise EP emerges an elegant, alluring dark world, as “Gods and Monsters” states “life imitates art”, as the listener is drawn into an anachronistic space. Her delicate nymph-like tone seduces the listeners while her smoky voice leaves them in a mystery. The dark and smokiness to the sweet and youthfulness create the uncanny. The shift from trip hop to baroque pop creates the intermingling of the American past with the contemporary. “American” blends electronic sounds within the ‘60s slang.

The cinematic and dark essence permeates into each song, which narrates the stories found in Paradise, from the life of stripper in “Yayo” to the broken-hearted girl in “Ride”. The climatic part in “Body Electric” reminds one of experiencing the break of dawn, as the light melts the darkness and the unknown. “Blue Velvet”, a cover from The Clovers, starts with the dramatic but brilliant orchestral beginning. In “Gods and Monsters”, her voice dramatises the narration of displacement between two worlds, while a spontaneous scream heightens the eeriness. As the scenes roll on the enigma grows within the Paradise.

Paradise EP sets fire to the 1950s ballads with sexual provocations from the 21st century as Rolling Stone depicts it. The implicit and explicit reference to sex and drugs haunt the sweet melancholy. “Cola” even with its controversy with the lyrics possesses the most depth about glamour and drugs.

During the first week the album came out, 67 000 copies were sold. Her album succeeds in enveloping the listeners into a type of American past. Nostalgic about the ‘50s, love a silky voice, enjoy a synaesthesia experience, then get Paradise EP.

Still hesitant give the album a listen:

Her live performance of “Body Electric” at iTunes Festival 2012. Sourced: Sleepy Starr


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