Lana Del Rey.
Girl’s got a great aesthetic. She’s an H&M model, a new artist on the scene with a retro vibe, and a totally hot babe. I like 3 of her songs from her debut album “Born to Die”. Summertime Sadness is my jam right now, because fall is sooooo almost here and I’m over summer and all its philandering ways. In my quest to reevaluate my lukewarm feelings towards Lana Del Rey, I decided to do a little more research. Who knows, maybe her ethereal-old timey Nancy Sinatra angle just needed some time to seep in. Maybe not.
In my research, I came across this article on Buzzfeed called “26 Meanest Quotes From Reviews of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Born to Die.‘” They’re not so much mean as they are a “what the fuck, commercial industry?! If you’re gonna push some shit in our face, make it better than… this.” She really does have an opposing magnets vibe. Most of her songs are listenable, but listenable isn’t a “HOLY FUCK IF WE DON’T LISTEN TO THIS SONG RIGHT NOW I’M GONNA FUCK YOUR HEAD.” And isn’t that what most mainstream pop music strives for? True, her tunes ain’t dancepopsynthpuke, but the target market is similar. That’s why her entire existence is confusing. You don’t market lukewarm tea to coke addicts. That’s like, marketing 101. You market cocaine to cocaine addicts and lukewarm tea to people who like to stay indoors.
I also wanted to watch her SNL debacle performances again, because I forgot what was so bad about them. Was she standing still too much? Was she pitchy? Was she boring? It’s so much more than that. This person does not look ready to have a career as a mainstream singer. She looks, acts and sings like she’s empty: a shell of a guaranteed faux-indie consumer success. And maybe she is empty. Sometimes we’re all a little empty. What’s weird is that she isn’t using that emptiness in her performance or art, which is the biggest cardinal sin of being an artist: use what’s screwed up about you and turn it into gold. She’s using what she’s not and turning it into ‘meh’. Good plan!
She’s also landed a campaign with H&M for fall 2012. The clothes look good, and again her aesthetic is appealing. But there’s not anything behind her stares. Her poses seems fragile and shy. Maybe in a pop world full of Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj, LDR’s understated image is calculated as some kind of counteract to the exhausting, never-ending motion of the modern pop star. All of the aforementioned pop stars have a clearly defined personality/music/market that we all know and either love or hate. LDR severely lacks personality, spark, that je ne sais quoi that sends the right participants on a one way journey to superstardom.
She seems like a nice girl, someone you would get frozen yogurt with and watch a movie you’ve already seen 100 times. As for being some sort of pop star, we’re still waiting for a personality to emerge from behind the technically beautiful and commercially calculated image that is barely conceivable as human.