Review: Lana Del Rey, ‘Born To Die’

Review: Lana Del Rey, ‘Born To Die’: Aidin Vaziri | Most people discovered, doted on and dismissed Lana Del Rey within the first 16 seconds she appeared on “Saturday Night Live” last month, somewhere between the opening shot of the ugly chandelier hovering over her head and the moment she brushed that pile of hair out of her face and dragged her hand awkwardly over her left breast. Admittedly, it wasn’t the best live television performance of Del Rey’s breakout hit, “Video Games.” She had done it roughly 546 times before, mostly in Europe, and the results were typically fantastic. On native soil, late Saturday night, the 25-year-old New Yorker was clearly nervous and probably missing her stylist who must have called in sick. The performance certainly didn’t deserve the sweeping condemnation that followed. “Video Games” has a certain insolent charm, kind of like Taylor Swift sitting in the backseat of a Camaro after a trip to the dentist. Del Rey (nee aspiring pop star Lizzy Grant) clearly spent some time studying the “Twin Peaks” and “Valley of the Dolls” boxed sets, learning how to pout, mope, sway and sing about dashboard Jesus figures over bone-chilling bass lines. On her self-titled album, the dim lounge mood of “Video Games” stretches to the glitter-spangled “Blue Jeans” and perfunctorily dirty “This Is What Makes Us Girls,” but more often takes on a weird electro-pop tinge in other songs like “Diet Mtn Dew” and “National Anthem.” A lot of people will probably be disappointed that it’s neither flat-out terrible nor terribly exciting. Del Rey has simply made a fine album. And if the biggest drawback of that is people on Twitter spend less time pontificating on her, so be it.

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