Artist: Lana Del Rey
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Elizabeth Woolridge Grant is better known as Lana Del Rey, is the American singer/songwriter who is taking the world by storm with her hauntingly fatalist lyrics and surprising blend of hip-hop, jazz and pop music. This 27 year old is giving big names such as Lady Gaga and Adele a run for their money. Her sound is reminiscent of Adele, Portishead and Deborah Harry. With three studio albums behind her name and numerous awards such as a BRIT award for International breakthrough act and a GQ award for ‘Woman of the year’ her career is snowballing into that of a major name in the pop industry.
Del Rey’s first single was that of “Video games”. This comes from her second studio album “Born To Die” released in January of 2012 although the song was leaked onto iTunes on the 16th of October 2011. This single launched her career in music and fashion. Her old Hollywood glamour and trademark flower crowns have become a reemerging trend in fashion. No female Hipsters wardrobe is complete without a Del Rey inspired over sized flower crown.
In the 2013 adaption of F.Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece The Great Gatsby, Lana Del Rey’s latest single ‘Young and Beautiful’ has become the unofficial anthem of this Jazz age inspired Americana.
This single is played during a scene in the movie at one of Gatsby’s opulent parties where Gatsby and Daisy sneak off for a private moment away from the suspicious eyes of Daisy’s husband, Tom. Here Daisy expresses her wish to run away which is shot down by Gatsby in his insistence to stay here as well as breaking the news of their affair to Daisy’s husband.
The haunting melody of Del Rey’s music is audible in the lulls of conversation between the couple. The pleading question of the chorus is “Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and Beautiful. Will you still love me when I got nothing but my aching soul” hangs in the air as anyone that has read to book or watched the movie Gatsby did not have the long term in mind when he set his plan to win her back her heart into motion. A line in the first verse of the song is also so applicable to the movie as its melancholy notion rings clear like a bell, “The way you’d play with me like a child.” This is so applicable as it is exactly how Daisy and Gatsby play and manipulate the emotions of each other and the other characters nearest to them.
Although her second album Born to Die was a major success her latest named Paradise (November 2013) has been met with mixed feelings. Her songs appear to be too similar for the taste of numerous critics. The lyrics continue to give the songs the feel of lachrymose ballads but have to a large extent amalgamated into too similar sounding fluff. Although the Hip Hop influence in the song Blue Jeans is interesting I believe that she can take it further to give new material she produces and interesting twist and a more authentic feel.
This raises the Question of whether her work is timeless enough to still be popular when she and her fans are no longer young and beautiful? This is up to you to decide!