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Born to Die B-sides included

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,038 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Sometimes stars emerge. Sometimes stars are thrust upon us. And sometimes stars simply slip into the atmosphere as if propelled by something otherworldly. It is into this last category that the astonishing presence, voice, look and feel of Lana Del Rey falls. Musical stardom is not an option with Ms Del Rey. It is her vocation. She calls herself the `gangsta Nancy Sinatra' and defines her genre as `Hollywood pop/ sadcore', a dramatic new loop for pop music.

Lana Del Rey grew up Lizzy Grant in Lake Placid on the outer edges of New York State. Herein some of her unique music flavour was incubated. `It has an epic, nostalgic feel. It's in the middle of a national park that is six hours from New York City. But it's also a struggle because it's a town built on tourism that no-one goes to anymore.'

At 18, she fulfilled her lifelong ambition of decamping to New York City. `Since I was little I knew I would end up there,' she says, `Every day is a pleasure there. Every single day I walk out of the door is a good day. I like everything about it. New York totally rewards me for my love of it.'

Lana Del Rey's direct influences were visual as well as musical; David Lynch, soundtracks for `50s black and white movies, the whirring sound of the Ferris at Coney Island, fame itself. She lived in a New Jersey trailer park and decked her homestead in flags, streamers and seasonally inappropriate Christmas lights. `All the things I love,' she notes. This was Lana's world now and it needed to sparkle.

She intends to work with hip-hop heavyweights, with the future-perfect foot soldiers at the coal face of exciting pop. `I know it is going to take a lot of work to get there. But that's OK when you have people around you who believe in you. The record is going to be gorgeous. That much we know. Whether or not it will work? That much we don't know.'

As for the inevitable stardom that will come her way? That is something Lana Del Rey does not fear. `I know a lot of different people. When they are drunk, in the dark of the night they all want the same thing. They all want to be famous. It's innately human to want other people to bear witness to your life. It's important for people to be watched. They don't want to be alone. I don't want to be alone.'


Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: B-sides included
  • Label: Interscope Records
  • ASIN: B006M595FI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,038 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,306 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 31, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Lana Del Rey went viral seemingly overnight last summer with her "Video Games" video clip, subsequently followed by the "Blue Jeans" clip, and from pretty much out of nowhere in a matter of 6 months, she played at Saturday Night Live recently. There has been discussion whether Lana's rapid rise has or hasn't been carefully orchestrated by her label Interscope, but now that the album is finally out, let's put aside all hype and suspiscion, and focus on the music.

"Born To Die" (12 tracks; 50 min.) can be divided in 3 sections. The first 4 tracks are slow-burners, pretty much in the vein of "Video Games" but check out in particular "Off To the Races", an album highlight. The middle section of the album (tracks 5 though 8) brings slightly faster tracks, and shines thoughout. "Diet Mountain Dew" is delightful, with playful lyrics like "Diet Mountain Dew baby New York City/Can we hit it low now down and gritty". Likewise with "National Anthem" (not to be confused with Radiohead's "The National Anthem"). After a brooding "Dark Paradise" (see my review title), comes "Radio", by far the most readily accessible track on this album (chorus: "Now my life is a sweet cinnamon/like a f**king dream I'm living in"). The last third album slows back down, and contains several other highlights such as "Million Dollar Man" (which reminds me of early Fiona Apple, think Never Is a Promise/The Child Is Gone/Pale September). The album ends appropriately with the self -explaining "This Is What Makes Us Girls".

In all, this is quite the album. Mostly dark, brooding, biting, yet funny and playful at times. Definitely not for anyone in a hurry. I can't imagine this album will be a mainstream success (this is MILES away from Adele's "21"), but I could be wrong and I hope I am.
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Format: Audio CD
I was one of those people who saw Lana Del Rey perform on Saturday Night Live, had never heard of her, and thought she did awful. After I decided to research her two songs and saw her videos on YouTube... I thought her songs were actually very good.

Needless to say after buying her album and listening to all her songs, I've found my favorites- Lolita, This Is What Makes Us Girls, and Off to the Races. Her song writing skills are amazing (and yes she actually writes her own songs like a big girl) and her singing is very weird and unique, but I LOVE it!

LOVE THIS ALBUM. Can't wait for her to release another one.
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Format: Audio CD
For all the critics who blasted Lana Del Rey's SNL vocal performance, missed the point: it's about songwriting, stupid. As it was for Dylan, who also has an underwhelming singing voice, Del Rey's songs are about to change the direction of pop music. Lyrically expressive and experimental with music composition that fuses the 40's, 50's, 60's and present day sounds into dark, moody, atmospheric experiences; and wrapped in a package of modern hip beats that takes her songwriting to fascinating art pop heights.

Every song presents an intriguing angle or point of view that makes one drawn deeper into its musical arrangement. Haunting melodies are sung with surprising twists that stay with a listener for days after hearing them.

The true testament to a well written song is when other artists cover it. We just might see that happen in the future with some of Lana's music, where better vocalists can interpret her superbly written melodies for a more thrilling experience. In the meantime, Del Rey's "Born to Die" album is about to change the present day notion of what pop music should sound like.

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August 23, 2013

FYI.....On this week, 19-months after the release of "Born to Die," the album is ranked number 20 in sales and an amazing 81 weeks on the Billboard Top 200 Album Charts with total worldwide sales exceeding 4-million according to IFPI. It was the fifth best selling album during 2012 beating out P!nk (The Truth About Love), Rod Stewart (Merry Christmas, Baby), Rihanna (Unapologetic), Mumford & Sons (Babel) and Maroon 5 (Overexposed).

So what can Del Rey's critics say now?
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14 Comments 78 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
I was one of the few people apparently left in the span of the universe who hadn't heard of Ms. Grant (or all her internet controversy) until I saw her on SNL. Well, suffice it to say, it wasn't the greatest performance on the planet, but it got me interested in her and her music. I did some Youtubing, and fell so in love with her music (including her first album). I couldn't stop playing it. Literally. It's all I though about for days, anxiously awaiting the release of this album. And I wasn't disappointed.

Her song Video Games is very sweet, so it made me cry. It conveys love in a very pure way, partially because of its older style sound and partially because of the way her voice really draws out the melody of the song that is reminiscent of Karen Carpenter. The video for both that song and Born to Die are indeed works of art in a way that few artist still even attempt to accomplish. Her songs tend to have a strong orchestra presence to them that resonates with her voice, and it's generally soothing.

She is evocative of the 50's and 60's era performers, particularly the Hollywood, young actress type and all the fame chasing that comes with it. It's tragic but real at the same time. It's definitely a cleverer dynamic than most popular artists of our time.

I think it's important to remember where all the criticism comes from and why. We as a culture are so oversaturated with overproduced musicians these days. What with ginormous theatrical performances from some of the big names that include large amounts of pyro and lights, few people truly appreciated the more live, personal style that her music touches on. It's not made to be blasted in some huge auditorium like a Kanye/Jay-Z concert. It's made to be appreciated on a deeper level than that.
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