Monday, February 06, 2012

Review: Lana Del Rey - Born To Die

Note: this is my first review on English, so I apologize for any wrong grammar. English isn't my mother language.

This album Born To Die is an album by Lana Del Rey. For you who doesn't know her (yet), she also known as Lizzy Grant. In fact, she has already release an album (or mini-album or EP) before, using Lizzy Grant alias, but all trace of her persona were deleted when Lizzy (or Lana) sign to her current label. In fact, her management make sure ALL trace of Lizzy Grant was deleted, including her EP, website, etc. This "persona killing" is kind of make internet-crowd rather... unhappy. Yes that big italic-bold font I used there.

Anyway, regardless to what internet-crowd said, I would like to make a review (to stretch it a bit) for Lana Del Rey debut album. This album, released January 30th, titled 'Born To Die', composed of 12 tracks (mine is the Special Edition, which included 3 bonus tracks).

The album tracks list:
1.     Born to Die  
2.     Off to the Races  
3.     Blue Jeans  
4.     Video Games  
5.     Diet Mountain Dew  
6.     National Anthem  
7.     Dark Paradise  
8.     Radio  
9.     Carmen  
10.     Million Dollar Man  
11.     Summertime Sadness  
12.     This Is What Makes Us Girls
while the Special Edition bonus tracks are:
13.     Without You 
14.     Lolita 
15.     Lucky Ones   

Del Rey vocal is rather unique. Her voice reminds me to those old songs, when stereo record haven't invented yet. Low, dark, and sultry. Her voice really make 'Born to Die' shine. This dark song, with touch of orchestra, really nice to listen to. Third track 'Video Games' (which gone viral several months ago) also has the same nice tone because Del Reys vocal. And, yes, I'm kind of partial to low and dark voice.

Pity Del Rey didn't use the same voice on the other songs. Yes, she still maintain the same breathy low voice, but the high tone is more like..... bitchy, pardon for the french. Her high on the other song lost the dark and mature voice 'Born to Die' and 'Video Games' has, instead, she sounded whiny.
Don't take me wrong, on some song, this bitchy sound kind of in line with the song, like on the 2nd track, 'Off to the Races', and 'Dark Paradise' (which my 3rd favorite track), but I wish Del Rey go for dark and mature version of her voice.

From lyrical side, I have to point that Del Rey album didn't has the best lyric. It, more or less, has the same tone of 'good girl gone bad' or 'good girl fall for bad boy' etc, but some are rather nice, like when she sang Now my life is sweet like cinnamon / Like a fucking dream I'm living in / Baby love me cause I'm playing on the radio / How do you like me now? on 'Radio'. Or how she sang Money is the anthem of success / So put on mascara, and your party dress on 'National Anthem'. It's all about love, money, party, sex and fame.

So, after listening to this album several days, my opinion is rather mixed. On one side, this album has this dark atmosphere, which I kinda liked, and unique sound to it. Some of the songs has this nice beat, which make me tap my feet. But on the other side, the tone of the songs are kind of similar. This similarity made the album felt whole. BUT, it also could make it dull. Which one is this album lay, I'll let you decide it by yourself.
And we're off to the races, places / Ready, set the gate is down and now we're goin' in / To Las Vegas chaos, Casino Oasis, honey it is time to spin