If ‘Disney’s Gothic Magic Kingdom’ were a real place, Lana Del Rey would be the main attraction. I was captivated by her essence and voice the first time I listened to ‘Video Games’ in autumn last year, and awestruck by her (if to be believed, carefully crafted and constructed) persona. But you can’t judge an album off of one song, and after following an artist for some time, you can often feel let down by the end product. This fortunately isn't the case with 'Born To Die'.
First of all, ‘Born To Die’ is a brilliant album. From what feels like an overture from a Rita Hayworth movie in the title track which opens the album, the tone for the 12 tracks is set. Del Rey juxtaposes the beauty of besotted love with the torturous and haunting strings that accompany every song on the album perfectly. The range in her voice is astounding, which varies from the almost comically high in ‘Off To Races’ (light of my life, fyyre ‘f’ma loins) to the downbeat downtrodden sounds of both ‘Born to Die’ and ‘Carmen’.
Personally, Del Rey’s first album feels like a concept album, an autobiography of sorts detailing the positive sides as well as the dangers of falling and staying in love. Standout tracks such as National Anthem and This Is What Makes Us Girls will be on repeat for weeks. Along with news that Lana Del Rey has purchased the rights to her unreleased first album under her real name, Lizzy Grant, I can’t wait to hear what’s next.
Key Tracks: National Anthem, Born To Die, This Is What Makes Us Girls, Summertime Sadness