There’s also something else you should know about Lana Del Rey and that is YOU HATE LANA DEL REY! Ever since the indie/pop/blues/60s time traveler/singer/songwriter burst onto the music scene, the Internet that has made her famous has decided to turn on her like a pack of ravenous arctic wolves at a Schindler’s List cosplay convention. The vitriol that has been directed at Lana Del Rey definitely needs a bit of analysis…especially since we all need to get back to hating Nickleback and trying to figure out what in God’s name was dripping off of Christina Aguilera at Etta James’ funeral.
Well, before we can decide whether or not we actually hate Lana Del Rey, I guess we should listen to her sing. Here’s the video for Video Games, the song that brought her the majority of her fame and has been viewed over 24 million times. Please don’t watch this if you are actively watching children or operating heavy machinery.
To quote a dear friend of mine, “That song made me want to fall asleep while punching her.”
OK, so I can safely say that she’s not my cup of tea, but I understand why the indie music scene would have bolstered her to stardom. She’s deep, bluesy, appeals to hipsters, and walks the line of making you feel like it’s a love song while still making you wish you were plummeting to your death off a bridge. But why the hate? I mean, I plan on teaching my kid that if you don’t have anything nice to say then you shouldn’t say anything at all—but if we all did that I guess a lot of music critics would be out of jobs. Let’s go through some of the critical reception for Born to Die:
“Given her chic image, it’s a surprise how dull, dreary, and pop-starved Born to Die is.” – Rolling Stone
“An inevitable let down as one unconvincing, lethargic vocal bleeds into the next.” – USA Today
“This is album as anticlimax, the period that ends the essay, not the beginning of a new paragraph.” – The New York Times
“Lana Del Rey isn’t nearly as convincing a fiction as David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, Madonna Ciccone’s name-shortened boy-toy persona or even Taylor Swift’s character ‘Taylor Swift’.” – Los Angeles Times
And it’s that last quote that brings me to my first point about why we’re all calling for the head of Lana Del Rey, which is that “Lana Del Rey” is a persona. According to an article on Slate.com, before August 2011, Lana Del Rey went by her real name, Lizzy Grant. She scrapped her original approach for singing stardom for the persona of Lana Del Rey, a sex-pot throwback Lolita bombshell who just wants to love you until we all die in a drag racing accident. If there’s one thing the Internet loves to do, it’s remind people about the parts of themselves they’re trying to hide. Also, here’s Lizzy Grant:
And here’s Lana Del Rey:
Same lady, same talent, but one appears to have a normal set of lips and the other one looks like she should be attacking the Nautilus. Basically, hipsters hate fake people and that’s reason #1 why you hate Lana Del Rey.
Another reason why you hate Lana Del Rey is that she completely botched her appearance on Saturday Night Live. Here she is singing Blue Jeans after being introduced by that delightful Daniel Radcliffe:
I miss Joe Piscopo.
People were confused by Lana Del Rey on SNL. Here’s a singer that has yet to actually release an album and she went on live television and acted unprepared, uninterested, uncomfortable, or all of the above. It was almost unanimous that this had to be one of the worst performances in Saturday Night Live history and she didn’t even bother to rip up a picture of the Pope while doing it.
Finally, it’s becoming clear that Lana Del Rey is a record label product that was forced down all of our throats before she was ready. There’s no arguing that Lizzy Grant has talent, but Lana Del Rey has been shrink-wrapped, sexed up, and delivered to all of our homes with great fervor. So it’s no wonder that the Internet that bolstered her from out of nowhere has turned on her with reckless abandon. She’s been engineered to sell records and magazines, not make you wish your boyfriend will call you back. But don’t take this all from me. Let’s let Taiwanese news giant Next Media Animation sum it all up for you:
At the very least, you know you’ve made it when Taiwan animates you.
Now, I realize that pretty much every music act is meant to be a product that media companies want you to buy uncontrollably. I just think Lana Del Rey needed a couple of more minutes in the E-Z-Bake oven before she was ready for mass consumption. We’re all witnessing her transformation, not being served a finished product, and that’s pretty much why you’re being told that you hate Lana Del Rey.
So what do you think, Citizens of MamaPop? Do you hate Lana Del Rey? Is all of this animosity directed at her uncalled for or is she getting exactly the critical reception she deserves? Talk among yourselves while I go brood in a corner looking sexy.