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Dance - Released January 1, 2013 | Lana Del Rey

Pop/Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | Universal Music Division Polydor


Pop/Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | Lana Del Rey

Even after selling nearly three million copies of her debut album worldwide, Lana Del Rey still faced a challenge during 2012: namely, proving to critics and fans that Born to Die wasn't a fluke. In that spirit, she released Paradise, a mini-album close to Christmas, one that finds her copying nearly wholesale the look and feel of her vampish Born to Die personality. The sound is also very familiar. Strings move at a glacial pace, drums crash like waves in slow motion, and most of the additional textures in these songs (usually electric guitar or piano) are cinematic in their sound and references. Del Rey is in perfect control of her voice, much more assured than she was even one year ago, and frequently capable of astonishing her listeners with a very convincing act, even while playing nearly the same character in each song. There's really only one difference between Born to Die and Paradise, but it's a big one. Instead of acting the softcore, submissive, '60s-era plaything, here she's a hardcore, wasted, post-millennial plaything. She even goes so far as to tell her audience that she likes it rough (in words that earned the album a parental advisory sticker), to ask whether she can put on a show, and at her most explicit, proffering a simile that compares the taste of an intimate part of her anatomy to Pepsi. Granted, at the age of 26, she still has a few things to learn about lyricism, also resorting to cliché and baby talk in a manner that may fit the persona in a song, but doesn't result in great songwriting. (For examples, check "Body Electric," with the lines "Elvis is my daddy, Marilyn's my mother, Jesus is my bestest friend" and "We get crazy every Friday night, drop it like it's hot in the pale moonlight.") For all the progress and growth Del Rey shows in the vocal realm, her songwriting appears to be in stasis and the productions behind her have actually regressed from Born to Die. (The inclusion of a cover, "Blue Velvet," is not only a perfect match for her style, but also a hint that she performs up to better material.) Still, all of this is merely the fodder for her continuing controversy and popularity. Del Rey puts it better here than anyone else, with another simile: "Like a groupie incognito posing as a real singer, life imitates art." ~ John Bush

Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2014 | Vertigo Berlin

Pop/Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | Lana Del Rey - P Ltd.

Pop/Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | Polydor

Lana Del Rey is a femme fatale with a smoky voice, a languorous image, and a modeling contract. Not coincidentally, she didn't lack for attention leading up to the release of her Interscope debut, Born to Die. The hype began in mid-2011 with a stunning song and video for "Video Games," and it kept on rising, right up to her January 2012 performance on Saturday Night Live (making her the first artist since Natalie Imbruglia in 1998 to perform on SNL without an album available). Although it's easy to see the reasons why Del Rey got her contract, it's also easy to hear: her songwriting skills and her bewitching voice. "Video Games" is a beautiful song, calling to mind Fiona Apple and Anna Calvi as she recounts another variation on the age-old trope of female-as-sex-object. Her vacant, tired reading of the song rescues it from any hint of exploitation, making it a winner. Unfortunately, the only problem with Born to Die is a big one. There is a chasm that separates "Video Games" from the other material and performances on the album, which aims for exactly the same target -- sultry, sexy, wasted -- but with none of the same lyrical grace, emotional power, or sympathetic productions. Del Rey doesn't mind taking chances, varying her vocalizing and delivery, toying with her lines and reaching for cinematic flourishes ("he loves me with every beat of his cocaine heart," "Pabst Blue Ribbon on ice"), and even attempting to rap. But she's unable to consistently sell herself as a heartbreaker, and most of the songs here sound like cobbled retreads of "Video Games." An intriguing start, but Del Rey is going to have to hit the books if she wants to stay as successful as her career promised early on. ~ John Bush

Alternative & Indie - Released July 21, 2017 | Vertigo Berlin

Hi-Res Booklet
Two years after Honey Moon, Lana del Rey comes back with the much anticipated Lust for Life, her fourth studio album. The voice is magnetic, more sensual than ever; the melodies are solid. If through the eyes of Lana, the world stays affected, slow and pensive, the skillfully chosen featuring tracks offer a few welcome respites. Thereby, the baby doll has invited a few friends to her ball. A$ap Rocky officiates on Groupie Love and Summer Bummer—in which he brings with him Atlanta’s wild youngster, Playboi Carti—The Weeknd on Lust for Life, Jonathan Wilson on Love. Others, and not least among them, have joined the party. Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac’s emblematic singer, pops by on Beautiful People Beautiful Problems, and Sean Ono Lennon on Tomorrow Never Came. 16 tracks, 72 minutes. It’s a mix of genres ranging from hip hop with trap accents to psychedelic, without forgetting ballads on piano, and always a focus on acoustic. It’s a passionate craving for life then, which comes back to the one that has made her queen, Born to Die. It’s almost ironic. Has it gone back full circle? Anyway, this faded color melancholy is as attractive as ever, and its varnish doesn’t only crack to reveal the throes of an idol anymore, but also to tackle a modern America in disarray, between past and future. © MD/Qobuz

Alternative & Indie - Released July 21, 2017 | Universal Music Division Polydor


Alternative & Indie - Released September 18, 2015 | Universal Music Division Polydor

Call Honeymoon the third installment in a trilogy if you will but there's no indication Lana Del Rey will put her doomed diva persona to rest after this album. Over the course of three albums, Lana Del Rey hasn't so much expanded her delicately sculpted persona as she has refined it, removing anything extraneous to her exquisite ennui. Honeymoon doesn't drift or float, it marks time, sometimes swelling with a suggestion of impending melodrama but often deflating to just an innervated pulse. Apart from the syncopated chorus on "High on the Beach," any lingering element of the hip-hop affectations of Born to Die have been banished and so have the shade and light Dan Auerbach brought to Ultraviolence, a record that feels cinematic in comparison to Honeymoon. What's left behind is the essence of Lana Del Rey: iconic images of days of Los Angeles passed, all plasticized and stylized, functioning as lighthouses in stoned, sad daydreams. Mood reigns over all on Honeymoon -- melodies and tempos certainly aren't prioritized over feel; all the originals are purposefully languid, which is partially why the Nancy Sinatra sample on "Terrence Loves You" and "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," a cover allegedly in the vein of Nina Simone's original but bearing an organ out of the Animals, stick -- but underneath the dragging beats and austere arrangements, there's something approaching triumph. Where Lana Del Rey seemed weighted down by existential sorrow on her first two albums, Honeymoon seems comfortingly melancholic and that's the truest sign that it is the fullest execution of Lana Del Rey's grand plan yet. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Alternative & Indie - Released February 15, 2015 | Universal Music Digital Luxembourg

Ambient - Released November 17, 2014 | 2DIY4

Alternative & Indie - Released June 8, 2014 | Lana Del Rey

Alternative & Indie - Released May 26, 2014 | Lana Del Rey


Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2014 | Universal Music Division Polydor

The maelstrom of hype surrounding self-modeled Hollywood pop star Lana Del Rey's 2012 breakthrough album, Born to Die, found critics, listeners, and pop culture aficionados divided about her detached, hyper-stylized approach to every aspect of her music and public persona. What managed to get overlooked by many was that Born to Die made such a polarizing impression because it actually offered something that didn't sound like anything else. Del Rey's sultry, overstated orchestral pop recast her as some sort of vaguely imagined chanteuse for a generation raised on Adderall and the Internet, with heavy doses of Twin Peaks atmosphere adding a creepy sheen to intentionally vapid (and undeniably catchy) radio hits. Follow-up album Ultraviolence shifts gears considerably, building a thick, slow-moving atmosphere with its languid songs and opulent arrangements. Gone are the big beats and glossy production that resulted in tracks like "Summertime Sadness." Instead, Ultraviolence begins with the protracted, rolling melancholia of "Cruel World," nearly seven minutes of what feels like a sad, reverb-drenched daydream. The song sets the stage for the rest of the album, which simmers with a haunted, yearning feeling but never boils over. Even the most pop-friendly moments here are steeped in patient, jazz-inflected moodiness, as with the sad-eyed longing of "Shades of Cool" or the unexpected tempo changes that connect the slinky verses of single "West Coast" to their syrupy, swaying choruses. Production from the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach might have something to do with the metered restraint that permeates the album, with songs like "Sad Girl" carrying some of the slow-burning touches of greasy blues-rock Auerbach is known for. A few puzzling moments break up the continuity of the album. The somewhat hooky elements of "Brooklyn Baby" can't quite rise above its disjointed song structure and cringeable lyrics that could be taken either as mockery of the hipster lifestyle or self-parody. "Money Power Glory" steps briefly out of the overall dreamscape of the album, sounding like a tossed-off outtake from the Born to Die sessions. Despite these mild missteps, Ultraviolence thrives for the most part in its density, meant clearly to be absorbed as an entire experience, with even its weaker pieces contributing to a mood that's consumptive, sexy, and as eerie as big-budget pop music gets. Del Rey's loudest detractors criticized her music as a hollow, cliché-ridden product designed by the music industry and lacking the type of substance that makes real pop stars pop. Ultraviolence asserts that as a songwriter, she has complete control of her craft, deciding on songs far less flashy or immediate but still uniquely captivating. As these songs shift her sound into more mature and nuanced places, it becomes clear that every deadpan affectation, lispy lyric, and overblown allusion to desperate living has been a knowing move in the creation of the strange, beguiling character -- and sonic experience -- we know as Lana Del Rey. ~ Fred Thomas

Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2014 | Universal Music Division Polydor



Lana Del Rey in the magazine
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    Lana Del Rey, beautiful violence. The evanescent lady of the moment brings yet another soulful music experience to our ears...
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