Light of the Stereo

Light of the Stereo

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Double Shot: Lana Del Rey - "Born To Die" (2012) & "Paradise"(2013)

Lana Del Rey

Born To Die / Paradise

Polydor / Interscope

Lusciously meticulous, Lana Del Rey's Born To Die is a hypnotic masterpiece. Ripe with silky vocals and a boldly symphonic instrumentation that seductively caresses the songs' raw subject matter like a high-class escort in a dive bar bathroom. Populated with songs that saunter with back ally magic and sexual energy that borders on crass. Del Rey has given a musical voice to the muses of Bukowski poems and David Lynch films. It's been years since an album has made me ache this bad.

Peppered with stylistic elements that range from vocal jazz to the slightest smatterings of hip hop rhythm this album is able to keep your attention with a sweet auditor diversity. Revealing a richly talented artist who has a wide range of weapons in her arsenal. Through darkly seductive tracks like "Blue Jeans" and "Born to Die" her hauntingly smoky sirens call is arresting.

Unfortunately the follow up album, Paradise, pales in comparison to it's predecessor. Still retaining some of the crowning elements of Born To Die including the haunting vocal lament found in the opening track "Ride".This CD is certainly a lesser product.  Lacking the ground breaking awe factor of her first album. With songs that seem like the BTD studio session leftovers that had potential yet didn’t quite make the final cut. Ultimately rushing  these tracks to market might have robbed them of their greatness.

Also missing from this album is the subtle raw sexual sophistication of its predecessor. Exchanging it for a cheaper crassness that’s only worth seemed to be shock, epitomized in the opening line of “Coke.”

Comparably Born To Die is clearly a more sound collection of material, but I would be remissed if I didn't point out that both albums are clearly the work of an amazing artist and are both worth a listen.