Elizabeth Woolridge Grant aka Lana Del Rey arose from of a fold of her former introduction into the music world. An image of bleach blonde hair and a varsity jacket now she is a perfect mannequin of puffed lips, pointed red nails and edgy tattoos. A cinematic sounded surrounded by a smoke screen of glamour and lust, which she effortlessly turns into poetic song lyrics.
The thought behind becoming a signer was coloured by the idea of creating love around herself, a small community she could create by meeting new people. Her first signing with 5 Point Records was short lived as she bought herself out of it after just 5 years claiming it was a non-starter, probably due to the fact that her EP Kill Kill was ‘put to bed’ soon after it’s release and quickly she admitted defeat and ventured down a career path to help those looking to be rehabilitated back into the community after drug or alcohol abuse.
In 2011, after struggling with the help of her father to publicise her next self-titled album, she met with Ben Mawson, her current manager. They moved to London for a few years to concentrate on her career and so it began…
In 2011 she sauntered onto our screens with the intoxicating and beautiful Video Games. Accompanied by a smoky, sultry video with cinematic artistry, sun and young love.
To follow was a spectacular album Born To Die selling 3.4 million copies in 2012. The Paradise edition of the abovewas released in late 2013 selling 67,000 copies in the first week.
Young & Beautiful, written by Del Rey for Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of The Great Gatsby was next to address the limelight and shortly after this the pre-hyped release of her short film Tropico aired on her official Vevo. A statement from Del Rey coined this as the closing chapter to her first album.
Panned by some critics for being anti-feminist and pro-prostitution (which I believe to be a misinterpreted, prudish view of her fantasies) it’s clear to see that her work has undoubtedly caught our attentions, for good or for bad and this week saw the anticipated release of her third album Ultraviolence.
Still cinematically characteristic of Del Rey, the 15-track album is hauntingly beautiful with a perfect split of beauty with glamour and lusty addiction. Releasing 3 songs separately before the entire album only increased my excitement for the arrival of the completed set. In her songs you can hear her fascination of a glamorous world, a story world of painted images that exist in books and films and for some in real life and it really is fascinating. She has no qualm about naming one of her tracks I fucked my way up to the Top and you better believe the feminists will be all over that, but really, is she as bad as Rihanna dry humping a golden throne in a thong bikini? Del Rey is writing but not living this story in the public eye. Rihanna’s blatant display of vulgarity is something she was never previously about.
Ultraviolence has a note of darkness, like the previous album, but recently this darkness has been in the papers when she interviewed with the Guardian writer Tim Jonze. After questioning, she admitted that many of her idols are the greats who have died young, but confessed it was more about their personas and achievements that she idolised, their death was merely an added note to their stories. Understandable, and if you listen to the lyrics of her songs, it’s clear to hear a girl infatuated by the lifestyle and beauty of fame and drugs and addiction. As beautiful as these lifestyles sound, they often like their lead roles do, like Jimi or Janis, not so glamorously but what an end to the stories. I just believe this acceptance of dying early that Del Rey has admitted to is just part of her desire to live life like her songs portray. Tim Jonze can’t be blamed for what he wrote, it was merely the exact words to come out of her mouth – but this really shouldn’t taint her for you. She’s Hollywood, aren’t they all a little crazy? One thing that can be said, she’s dedicated to her image and her persona – just listen to her lyics.
Aside from the suicidal acceptance and anti-feminist views, the album is superb. Beautiful and dark with some excellent indulgent tracks, admittance to wanting all the things in life we shouldn’t really own up to, power and money and boy, she wants it all. You’ll want it all too and you’ll want to wander into her story garden and just not take that left turn to work on Monday morning.