Because Born To Die is bad. It’s really bad. It’s bad in ways that “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans” and even “Born To Die” in no way predicted. Plenty of people were suspicious of Lana Del Rey from start, but those early songs have a trashy, glamorous power that makes them stand out starkly in the context of the rest of the album. Other songs try that same combination of sex and regret, but they do it with all the subtlety of a cinderblock to the face. (On “National Anthem”: “Money is the anthem / God, you’re so handsome.” Yeek.) Most of the songs are just hideously under-written. The hooks are gone. The tempos rest on weird cheap electro beats that sound too cheap and too expensive all at once. Those tinny canned orchestral strings are on every song, and they don’t exactly find anything new to do. Neither does Del Rey’s persona; with bonus tracks, the songs come off like 15 different variations on a drunk chick at the bar trying to convince someone to come home with her. There are isolated moments that sound like they could’ve been something more; “Dark Paradise” and “Summertime Sadness” at least hint at the syrupy majesty of “Video Games.” But the whole thing is just a godawful mess.
Whoa, Stereogum says pretty much exactly everything I Tweeted about Born to Die last night — including also thinking “Dark Paradise” and “Summertime Sadness” could have been good songs if they weren’t handled so horribly. Does this mean I’m right for once?!
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