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Lana Del Rey

Born To Die

Lana Del Rey
The rollercoaster ride that Lana Del Rey has been on since she made her YouTube debut six months ago is nothing short of stunning. From the accolades piled onto that initial song, "Video Games," to the staggeringly bad Saturday Night Live performance, it looks like the very people who created her tidal wave of hype have become determined to undermine it. But she actually does it all by herself on Born To Die. First of all, "Video Games" is still a damned fine song, thanks to its earnest homage to every David Lynch soundtrack ever and sulky vocals. However, there's nothing that comes close to its lush, widescreen majesty, nor anything that comes as any kind of surprise, although there are a handful of decent songs. She's thoroughly committed to this persona that she (or someone else) created, with nothing deviating from her distinct formula, which causes one of the album's main problems. Spread over 12 songs, Del Rey becomes so ordinary, even bland, that no amount of little girl vocals or pouting can save her. Add some frighteningly banal lyrics and Born To Die (as well as Lana) is the poster child for style over substance. (Universal)
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