DEL REY, LANA – Born To Die

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"The singer born Elizabeth "Lizzy" Grant may have made her mark with a grainy homemade video that brought to mind other grainy homemade videos in the indie sphere, but the slick sound and sentiment of "Radio", Born to Die's most straightforward statement of purpose ("Baby love me 'cause I'm playing on the radio/ How do you like me now?"), places it firmly within the realm of big-budget chart pop. Born to Die was produced by Emile Haynie, whose credits include Eminem, Lil Wayne, and Kid Cudi, and the album's impressively lush atmosphere might be the one thing that will unite its detractors and apologists.

The album's recurring themes ooze out of every note: sex, drugs, and glitter hover in the yawning atmosphere around Del Rey's breathy vocals. There are strings and trip-hop beats and bits of 1950s twang, and the melodies, assembled with assistance from hired-gun songwriters like Mike Daly (Plain White Ts, Whiskeytown) and Rick Nowels (Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven Is a Place on Earth") are built to stick. But for an album that aims for fickle radio listeners, many of its pop signifiers feel stale and ill-fitting. On "Million Dollar Man", Del Rey drawls like a highly medicated Fiona Apple, and "Diet Mountain Dew" and "Off to the Races" aim for chatty, sparkling opulence, this singer doesn't have the personality to bring it off."

- Pitchfork

Born To Die
Off To The Races
Blue Jeans
Video Games
Diet Mountain Dew
National Anthem
Dark Paradise
Million Dollar Man
Summertime Sadness
This Is What Makes Us Girls