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Heather's Music Review: Lana Del Rey- Born to Die

Updated on January 8, 2020
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Heather has a Bachelor's Degree in English from Moravian College and has been freelance writing for more than 14 years.

Lana Del Rey "Born to Die" Album Cover
Lana Del Rey "Born to Die" Album Cover
Del Rey sings her heart out on stage.
Del Rey sings her heart out on stage.
Lana Del Rey Single Cover
Lana Del Rey Single Cover
Del Rey poses for the camera.
Del Rey poses for the camera.
Del Rey bonds with a cat.
Del Rey bonds with a cat.

Late last fall, music audiences were getting their first glimpse of a new singing star on the horizon and were genuinely excited for her quirky songs. Singer Lana Del Rey released her first major album Born to Die was great expectation of what was to come. Can she prove her supporters and keep her critics at bay at the same time?

Del Rey was once described as a uniquely fashioned version of a "gangsta Nancy Sinatra" and claimed that Britney Spears and Kurt Cobain were among her musical sources of inspiration. Sounded like a bizarre combination, but it made some sense in the long run. Del Rey's songs were a mixture of dark undertones with a killer beat to go with each song. The true test of Del Rey's potential longevity came when she performed live on the January 14th episode of Saturday Night Live a few weeks before her album's release. Unfortunately, her nerves got the better of her and it caused her to postpone her tour for now.

In terms of her album, the songs tended to be a mixed array of songs that ranged from dark to the overly quirky. Del Rey's musical style on the album was resembled more of Fiona Apple mixed with Lily Allen's spunky attitude. Some of her songs would've also served well in a David Lynch film or his cancelled television show Twin Peaks, especially the title track and "Dark Paradise." The latter song reflected of how the good can often mix with the bad. It discussed a lost love that weighed heavily on Del Rey's mind even when it seemed to hurt her. She even sang at one point that every time she closed her "eyes. It's like a dark paradise." Lynch should definitely recruit her to record music or use her songs for his next movie. That would be a match made in Hollywood Heaven.

The album's standout songs included "Video Games," "Blue Jeans," and "Born to Die." The title track was about a relationship that was intense and unhealthy at the same time. Del Rey sang of how the love affair was destined to crumble no matter how hard they fought their doomed fate. When you listen to Born for the first time, the dark and atmospheric tone might be initially off-putting to some listeners. It takes a few times for the songs to truly grow on you, even the downright unnerving "Off to the Races" and the dangerous "Lolita." Although Born lacked a clear theme, Del Rey demonstrated a strong musical presence that indicated a musical star was in the making. Let's just hope that her live performances match her musical skills in time.

Born to Die was released on January 31st and is in stores everywhere.

Verdict: A musical star that has the potential for major stardom. If only, her stage fright doesn't get in the way of her vocal skills.

CD Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Score Chart
1 Star (Mediocre)
2 Stars (Averagely Entertaining)
3 Stars (Decent Enough to Pass Muster)
4 Stars (Near Perfect)
5 Stars (Gold Standard)


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