Wednesday, 5 October 2011

-Music Videos on my Mind- Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games”

One has to be weary of the British press when it comes to overhyping new acts, especially American ones that achieve fame here before they do their own country. Kings of Leon are an example of such an occurrence, as is someone like Quentin Tarantino; both embraced to such an extent by dear old Blighty that Americans had no choice but to take notice of something that had been hanging around their backyards for years.

Now Lana Del Rey is the new addition to the list of American artists who are set to make waves thanks to an overenthusiastic reaction by British music listeners. The BBC, NME and Guardian have run a series of features on Del Rey, hailing her as the next big thing in music. The buzz has been so fierce that US tabloids like EW and Pitchfork have been compelled to also report on her.

Within 6 weeks of posting her debut track Video Games on Youtube, Del Rey has gone from being a minor blogging curiosity to getting her song featured in last week's CW primetime series Ringer.

It seems easy to understand why Del Rey found popularity in the UK before the US, primarily because she has more in common with minimalist British singers like Adele and Birdy than what she does with the current crop of flamboyant mainstream American solo pop princesses. Furthermore, Del Rey is a metaphysics graduate from New York, which always adds credence to singer's credentials as far as the British are concerned.

Del Rey has now moved to London because her growing appreciation here means she will probably gain traction in the rest of Europe too. In truth, her sound is so ineffably American that it's hard to see how she cannot break her own country soon.

The video for Video Games is a fairly ad hoc affair that channels little about the song's themes concerning a young woman's feelings of neglect and insecurity in light of her lover's apathy towards her. It's a heavy subject for a doll-like 24-year old who sings in a voice wiser than her years. Perhaps the evocative resonance of Video Games is why Del Rey managed to sell out a recent London gig within 30 minutes of tickets going on sale.

Is this unwarranted hype, or is Del Rey the real deal? Only time will tell, but she at least seems more relevant to this era of uncertainty and uneasiness than say what Katy Perry or Ke$ha are.

In short, Del Rey seems to be singing about real feelings, a tradition her contemporary mainstream American female singing fraternity is struggling to uphold.


  1. This is my first time hearing her. She's ok, but nothing new. Her style is old and rehashed, and she's doing nothing that unique.
    All that said, she is rather pretty, and obviously talented, and like you said, singing about real emotions, so I suspect she will go somewhere with this.

  2. I like the symphonic feel to the song, but I don't like the video and the way she presents herself.
    As Pope says above, I'm not sure why Brits always go for retro? Aren't they capable of inventing something new, possibly futuristic? They are still stuck with 60's voices, melodies and fashion when it comes to music.

  3. Thank you for introducing me to my new obsession. You can't even place Lana in the same category as the pop princesses. She's a real singer. Lol. Those are hard to find here in the US. I really hope she does well here!

    The video was a tad hipster-dream for my taste, but I have to admit I was touched by some of the images.

    I have to find her CD immediately.

    I love you. :)

  4. nice post,gr8 blog with the pics i lyk..
    Bdw come check awt me fashion blog n lets follow each other lyk twitter

  5. I must say that i liked the 60´s - early 70´s aesthetics on some of the video, but the song per se, was nothing special. I don't think i would go and add her to my playlist.

  6. I've never heard of her. And I'm European! :D

    Also, I thought Quentin was well known all over the world from the start! O_o

    Anyhow, following, mate! :)

  7. I like the simplicity of the song. But I can't connect to the lyrics.

  8. I like the song, but she looks bored singing it.