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Showing 1-10 of 849 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,131 reviews
on May 5, 2012
I have to say that this is one of the most unusual and most successful debut albums I have ever heard, from an artist that even a few months ago I did not know existed. Both lyrically and musically, the album takes us into an alternate world, a world populated by young women who are fatally attracted to seriously flawed men, but this doesn't seem to bother them. They not only accept it, they revel in it. Although most of the songs are built around this theme, redundancy is avoided because the characters are vividly detailed and the musical presentations are diverse. I would like to mention that any comparisons I make to musical genres or other artists must be considered approximations; the music on this album is highly original and frankly, rather difficult to describe.

In the opener and title song, "Born To Die", Lana sings a ballad with a world-weariness and fatalism that calls to mind Marianne Faithfull or even Marlene Dietrich: "Feet don't fail me now/Take me to the finish line...Choose your last words/This is the last time/Cause you and I, we were born to die". The next track, my favorite, "Off To The Races", is completely different, an upbeat hip-hop track. In this song a girl with "a Las Vegas past" is kept and well-tended by a gangster type who "...loves me with every beat of his cocaine heart". This relationship would seem dysfunctional to most, but the picture Lana paints makes it sound valid, desirable and a lot of fun. In the somber "Video Games", she coaxes her young lover, "Tell me all the things you wanna do/I heard that you like the bad girls honey, is that true?" We return to hip-hop and enter the playground of the wealthy in "National Anthem": "Money is the anthem of success/So before we go out, what's your address?...God you're so handsome/Take me to the Hamptons". "Carmen" in the ballad by that name is one character not preoccupied with relationships. Her problems are different: "The boys, the girls/They all like Carmen...Doesn't have a problem/Lyin' to herself/'Cause her liquor's top shelf". "Million Dollar Man" is sung in a style that I would have to call 40's or 50's blues (very interesting vocal here), and the reason she is blue is, as she tells her man, "You're screwed up and brilliant/You look like a million-dollar man/So why is my heart broke?"

The total effect of the album would be depressing except that the interesting lyrics and Lana's varied vocals are such a delight that any sadness is mitigated. Then too, why feel sorry for someone who doesn't feel sorry for herself? Lana's characters are content with the lives they are living. I hope Lana gets to make a second album because I certainly want to see where she takes us next.
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on January 19, 2014
For the past 3 decades buying full albums has often been a disappointing experience. You get a couple of hits and a bunch of fluff not worth listening to, so singles have been the way to go. I am serious when I say, this is the first full album I've actually bought since Timbaland's Shock Value back in 2007. Before that I can't even remember anything I had bought that was any good since the 90s.

This girl is ridiculously underrated and one of my favorite albums ever, I would put it alongside Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, 2Pac's Strictly 4 My, Dr. Dre's Chronic, and U2's Joshua Tree in terms of just sheer quality of every single track.

Lana studied metaphysics in school and it totally comes out in all of her songs. Her voice is so haunting and tracks are so layered with so many sources I don't even know where to start. The first time in many years I've actually felt shivers down my spine from listening to music. Keep up the good work Lana I can see why your fans love you so much.
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on May 18, 2017
The 'waivering' referenced previously is an effect I guarantee was a decided factor prior to printing the mother plate for this pressing. Essentially limit bass, use vari-speed (like old VHS) on everything but vocals (if you listen closely it does not occur on vocals). I would know as a mixing and mastering engineer. I believe she wanted a "vintage" sound added to her L.P. release, so they applied the effect across the instrumental stems. If you expect it to sound like Spotify or your CD, it's not the product for you...think 50s.
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on May 18, 2013
A curious hybrid of hip hop and baroque pop, Del Rey pantomimes the vapid and extravagant lifestyles of the upper echelon. Songs like "National Anthem" and "Off to the Races" are indicative of this. The album is an endless trail of woozy, mid-summery ballads that unabashedly reflect how young people find, fall into, and end romantic relationships. Every song is a masterpiece, even the album's most boring tracks ("This Is What Makes Us Girls" and "Radio") are well-produced and well-written. Conceptually, the album starts at the end; "Born To Die" highlights the sad, opened-endedness one feels at the peak of recovering from a bad relationship. But, before the narrator fully reaches that denouement, she drags us through a dreary film reel of the worst and best times she shared with her lover. By "Dark Paradise", we exit Eden and enter emotional hell. First, we are stunned, then we are sad and weepy, by "Million Dollar Man" we are righteously vengeful, yet somehow realizing we'll be okay. With the closing track, however, instead of feeling uplifted and ready to try love again, the theme twists around, blaming the fate of the entire romance on a woman's perceived fickleness and imperfection. It could have ended better. All in all, the album is an excellent social commentary on the perils of love and excess, with enough unique sounds and vocal acrobats to redeem such the tirelessly overdone cliche. Employing an alternative rap technique on "Diet Mountain Dew", "Off to the Races", and "National Anthem", the latter is the album's biggest embarrassment redeemed only by a tasteful music video that aims to reenact the Assassination of JFK. The first two, however, drape softcore rap over sleepy trip hop beats for a yummy, lachrymose snack. The album's highlights are: "Born To Die", "Video Games", "Million Dollar Man", and "Diet Mountain Dew". The weakest songs are: "National Anthem", "This Is What Makes Us Girls", and "Radio".
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on March 17, 2014
as a writer I recognize great lyrics and metaphors when I hear them, even if I cant imitate them or even wanted to. lanas use of her darkly erotic and sensual voice tentacles itself deep within ones heart and makes one ache for the need and wonder and power of it all. then, after a few listens, it strikes you just how brilliant the lines, the songs, even the album concept actually is.
it is easily the most gorgeous album ive heard since jazmin sullivans " fearless," and though just as poetic, lanas album may be more cohesive. lana sees things as they actually seem to be in my experience, though we're worlds apart. and she does not glamourize prostitution( "carmen"), as has been falsely represented by others. she simply states that it happens and that these women ( in this case) deal with their situation in their best fashion as they can and with real humanity. but the song that really set off the extremist fascists, oh my, I meant to write extremist feminists-dear me!, is the line in "this is what makes us girls," which is, 'this is what makes us girls/we don't stick together 'cause we put love first.' now that's insightful poetry!
so, if you wish to delve into an incredible artistic, emotional experience and perhaps even gain some insights while falling in love with a new poet, embrace lana del rey and be wafted away in the tornado of song in the gentle guise of a warm breeze.
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on March 7, 2012
I'm not really a huge fan of "Video Games", so didn't expect I'd like the rest of Lana Del Rey's music. I liked "Born to Die" quite a bit more, enough to check out the rest of the songs on the album. Surprisingly, there are about 8 songs on the Born to Die Deluxe Version that I really really like. Many of the rest are strong as well. 9 times out of 10, when I hear a song I like and begin digging into other songs by the same band/artist, I usually find that there are maybe 2 that I like on an album (at most). That's depressing since I grew up listening to a CD from start to finish. So kudos to Lana Del Rey for putting together a complete album with very little filler. Of course music tastes are all about individual opinion, but I'm impressed.
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on January 6, 2016
I used to think Lana Del Rey was just like the other s****y artists like Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus but after listening to all her music, Lana Del Rey is probably the best female artist out there. Her songs aren't all daftly written about partying and s**t and actually have a decent meaning behind a lot of them and tell stories. My favorites are "Carmen", "Off to the Races" and "Radio".
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on April 8, 2013
Lana Del Rey is the best singer/songwriter I have ever encountered since I discovered a love for music in my early teenage years. I listen to a variety of music ranging from Imagine Dragons, Poets of the Fall, and Nightwish to Bette Midler, Enya, and First Aid Kit.

My ever-evolving taste in music was intrigued the first time I accidentally heard a preview of "Video Games" during a late-2011 Amazon.com search and resulted in my purchasing the song for a closer look.

I wanted to hear more. I learned Lana had released one other song: "Blue Jeans." It was brilliant--it challenged my musical preferences and ensured I would await the release of her first full album with overwhelming anticipation.

Then came "Born to Die." If you haven't listened to the song, it should be first experienced with the official music video. By the time I heard the words "Come and take a walk on the wild side," I was blown away by Lana's vocal range and style.

"When can I purchase the entire album???"

The album finally became available and I was instantly in love with tracks "National Anthem" and "Summertime Sadness." More recently, I have come to appreciate "Million Dollar Man" and "Lucky Ones." I tend to get caught up in a swirl of pseudo-vintage splendor every time I start to play this record--because, as all of Lana's fans know, one does not simply listen to one Lana Del Rey song.
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on February 14, 2012
What an amazing voice. I am an admirer of female vocalists and I have a new favorite. I loved some of the songs, liked a few, and there are three I didn't really get into BUT 9 out of 12 is very strong don't you agree? In an age of one hit wonders made business' like Itunes a success with the ability to buy just the song you liked and not have to waste your coin on a CD finding an album worth buying is rare and a blessing. And at $6-$9 it's well worth the price. I'd skip the deluxe and stick to the regular album. I sampled the deluxe here on Amazon and the three extra songs were weak in my humble opinion. In her defense the three songs I didn't dig were all geared towards women. I'm a man and didn't really get their message nor was I supposed to I don't think. So here is my star rating of each song 5 stars goes to Born to Die, Blue jeans, Radio and Summertime Sadness.4 stars to Video Games and Diet Mountain Dew. 3 stars to National Anthem and Dark Paradise. 2 stars to the remaining four songs. Now this isn't like rating a movie so 2 stars doesn't mean they sucked just ok. 3 stars means I liked them, 4 stars really liked and 5 stars were amazing tracks. BUY IT
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on August 18, 2014
I am a Lana del Rey BELIEVER despite the SNL mishap. I love her soulful, sultry voice and the interesting, unique song compilation. She tends to have certain themes repeating throughout her songs, but they do not get boring or stale. Some people find her music a bit depressing or not lively enough, but I disagree. I have probably played this CD on repeat over 100 times. I love every song except "Carmen" - find that one kind of odd and too slow for my tastes, but in particular I have gravitated towards:
1. Blue Jeans - This is the song that got me hooked on Lana in the first place. I liked the range of her voice, and the unexpected but totally perfect "rap" in the verse.
2. Off to the Races - I absolutely hated the verse when it first played, but once the chorus came on, I started to tolerate and then really liked the verse. The chorus is amazingly catchy, chaotic, and fun.
3. Summertime Sadness - There is usually one song besides the initial radio hits that become popular with good artists. I honestly would not have pegged this one to be it. I thought "Dark Paradise" or "Diet Mountain Dew" would have been more popular, but I understand why people like this one. The verse is cool and swingy, and I eagerly await the bridge (cause it is SO FUN to sing) every time this song plays.
4. Radio - I like the sweet sounding melody paired with the expletives. It was unexpected and kind of fun. Though it sucked that the first time I had this playing, I was in my car, next to a minivan with kids in it. Definitely got some evil eyes from the lady driving the van... sorry, lady. I had NO idea!
5. This Is What Makes Us Girls - This song is completely on point. It's unapologetic in pointing out that us girls tend to kind of leave each other to the wayside in the pursuit of romance, but that it's a "curse." I see it as a frank assessment, but something that we can improve on!
6. Dark Paradise - Lyrics are super relatable. This is definitely something you listen to when you've just gone through a bad breakup. I like that her songs have clear situations in which they apply but are still good to listen to outside of those situations.

Overall, her lyrics are super nostalgic, both in calling back times far gone and times of our childhood and youth. It takes me back to the days when I used to play my scant few CDs on repeat, and that's how I would find all the hidden gems that no one else knew about. Though I understand the ease and convenience of purchasing single digital songs, unless you download the whole album and play it on repeat, you don't get that same experience as popping a CD in and being somewhat forced to listen to all of the songs. This album is definitely worth listening to in its entirety. (Except "Carmen." I really don't like that song.)
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