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Lana Del Rey Research Paper

Getting Into: Lana Del Rey 4 years after the release of Born To Die, (re)discover Lana’s career in 10 songs With Getting Into, we try to help you discover bands and artists that we believe are worthy of your time and ears. Because discographies can sometimes be exhausting, we carefully select here 10 songs from the artist’s career to give you an ideal, overall look at their body of work. This is not necessarily a list of the 10 best songs, the 10 biggest hits or an album-by-album overview, though it can sometimes get close to this. Instead, it is the starting point to help you start digging into the world of the act.

Born To Die was released on January 27th 2012. If it wasn’t exactly the first album for the NYC singer, it definitely was Lana Del Rey’s breakthrough. It charted in the top 5 of many countries and keeps moving copies well, as it has been one of the 100 best seller in the US four years in a row. Initial reviews of the album however were divided, as it appeared that for each critic including the album in its year-end list, there was another slamming the record. Lana’s career took unexpected turns from then on.

First, the Paradise EP was released before the end of the year and contained a very particular song that raised a lot of eyebrows. 13 did not see her release a lot of new music, but the Cedric Gervais remix of Summertime Sadness helped her score a top ten hit for the first time in her native United States as well as setting personal best positions in many other territories. She then released, after much delay, her short film Tropico and announced at its premiere the imminent release of Ultraviolence, a much darker album leaning towards blues-rock. The album also proved to be a hit when it was released in June 2014. Helped by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, the a;bum appeared in even more year-end lists and expanded Lana’s sound.

Barely over a year later, Lana hit back with Honeymoon, her slowest, noir-est release. Even with millions of albums sold, arena tours and charting releases, something about Elizabeth Grant makes her seem like an underground icon. She is still in the alternative, in the margin as no other pop star quite seem to compare to her. More than a musician, Lana Del Rey is a character, a brand, an entity, as you’ll discover through these 10 songs. Video Games, Born to Die (2012) It was late in 2011 that Elizabeth Grant launched Lana Del Rey into the stratosphere with just one song, Video Games, and its accompanying video.

Drenched in nostalgia and a inematographic production, the breakthrough single set the tone for her career and character. Easily one of the most iconic tracks of this decade, Video Games feels both light as a feather and enormous. Here, Lana uses her lower register to paint lines about her infinite commitment to her man, even if he doesn’t seem to feel the same way towards her. A tragic relationship? Sounds like A grade subject matter for her. Brooklyn Baby, Ultraviolence (2014) It is not a hazard if Lou Reed is mentioned by name on this track. After all, it is easy to feel the influence that the Velvet Underground singer had on Lana.

But the reality is a bit sadder han this: Lana wrote this song with the rock legend in mind and managed to get him to accept singing on the track. The meeting, however, never happened. The day she arrived in NYC to record with him, news broke that the singer had just passed away. The song itself relies on a mix of blues and dream pop, with lyrics about elements of the 60’s and 70’s American culture, which seems to be Lana’s favorite decades for inspiration on her 2014 album.

Young and Beautiful, The Great Gatsby: Music from Baz Luhrmann’s Film (2013) “Will you still love me when l’m no longer young and beautiful? Musically foreshadowing her last album Honeymoon’s more rchestral sound, Young and Beautiful sees Lana Del Rey once again in a situation where her love for her man is infinite, yet she is insecure about the reciprocity of the feeling. Telling someone to you will love them forever makes for a giant commitment and Lana wants to make sure her beau can live up to it. The track was released as the lead single of The Great Gatsby’s soundtrack, this comes as a mark of trust towards the singer, considering the all-star lineup of that LP.

High By the Beach, Honeymoon, (2015) One of Lana Del Rey’s more swaggering singles ever, High By the Beach shows the singer under her coolest side musically. But lyrically, she is on fire. For the first time, Lana sings about being hurt by love not inragic, sadcore way but in a victorious way. She wants to be in command. Best line “You can be a bad motherfucker/But that doesn’t make you a man”. Ouch. Shades of Cool, Ultraviolence, (2014) If you ask me, Shades of Cool is easily one of the best songs Lana Del Rey ever released (hence its high spot in my list of the best tracks of 2014).

Soft, gorgeous and with a chorus that can lift you up 1000 feets up in air, it’s easy to understand why Lana’s name comes so often when speculations for the interpret f the next James Bond’s theme song start pouring. But then wait for Dan Auerbach’s solo to come in and set fire to the slow- burning track. Off to the Races, Born to Die (2012) It’s easy to forget it, especially as BTD’s biggest singles were mostly ballads, but Lana Del Rey’s debut was filled with trip-hop and hip-hop influences and bouncing tracks. Off to the Races is a prime example of this sound.

With distant shouts, thumping drums and sing-talk delivery, it feels completely at odds with almost anything she released afterwards. She also moves from low to high register, cashing in with an ingenue voice right in time for the chorus. Kill Kill, Kill Kill (2008) and Lana Del Ray (2010) If Video Games pinned Lana Del Rey on the map in 2011, true fans know that she was already releasing music before that. Then known as “Lizzy Grant”, Elizabeth released Kill Kill on an EP of the same name in 2008 and again on her debut Lana Del Ray.

While her early discography might not be as essential as what she released in the last 5 years, this track remains a very interesting jam. Originally titled “The Ocean”, this song features a jazzier, loungier sound than what was to come after. West Coast, Ultraviolence (2014) Lana Del Rey going soft rock wasn’t exactly what we were xpecting, but it did make a bit of sense. After all, Born to Die had a very broad music palette and it is easy to draw similitude between the sound of Blue Jeans and West Coast.

Lead single of Lana Del Rey’s third album, West Coast saw Lizzy trade her New York attitude for some Californian love. The track became her only song to debut in the Billboard top 20 and if you set aside that one remix, it also is her only track to be featured in there. Her label perhaps did not think it would go that far, as it was at first dissatisfied with the way the chorus actually slows down the song instead of rising its tempo. Summertime Sadness, Born to Die (2012) During the summer of 2013, Summertime Sadness was everywhere. Or at least its Cedric Gervais remix was.

While this version in itself wasn’t too bad and mightve helped bringing new fans to discover her, the Born to Die version of the tracks remains the best. It was this version that managed at first to crack several alternative and rock charts on Billboard and get a first taste of radio airplay. One of the album’s most direct songs, the trip-hop ride’s lyrics, like several songs on the album, helped gathering speculation that it might be about an ex-lover who passed away. Honeymoon, Honeymoon (2015) Lana Del Rey is a musician, but it makes no doubt that Elizabeth Grant would love to be an actor as well.

After all, most of her music videos see her playing a role and acting in front of the camera. Plus, she did release a short film few years ago. With this in mind, it’s almost a shame Honeymoon didn’t get the full music video treatment. With a strong, dark, film noir vibe going the whole way through, the title track of her last album sounds like the soundtrack of an emotional romantic drama. The sinister tone only adds to the prospect of Lana falling again for a man surrounded by a “history of violence”.

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