Lana Del Rey has been causing quite a stir among musos for the last six months. The artist formerly known as Lizzy Grant (her real name) first surfaced halfway through last year with the stunning 'Video Games' and her equally stunning appearance on Later with...Jools Holland teased the emergence of a supreme talent. Del Rey's smoky, lounge act-styled vocals have similar allure to some of Nancy Sinatra's back catalogue and her pouty lips and sultry image are a music marketer's dream. So she's the total package, right? Well, not quite.
Born To Die isn't a great album but it does have a couple of great songs on it and that, fundamentally, is the problem. The two best songs on the album, 'Video Games' and title track 'Born To Die', had already been thoroughly dissected prior to the album's release but the problem is that tracks of the quality of these are few and far between among the 15 song collection and the emotional power of the album diminishes as it progresses.
Del Reys vocal style errs closer to reading than singing at various points throughout the album, save for occasional and completely ill-advised forays into rap which seem completely out of context to the rest of the record which begs the question if this is the type of album that Lana Del Rey wanted to make, or was told to make. She is clearly the possessor of musical talent, but the majority of Born To Die isn't a good showcase for it.