Song of the Day #5,366: ‘Summertime Sadness’ – Lana Del Rey

Given that Lana Del Rey’s first album was removed from circulation after only a couple of months, her 2012 sophomore release Born to Die is widely considered her debut. It’s certainly the album that put her on the map.

Released in January of 2012, Born to Die was boosted by the unexpected success of lead single ‘Video Games.’ That song, a dreamy ballad featuring Del Rey’s mournful vocals over a bed of piano and strings, sounded like something from a bygone era.

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Song of the Day #3,151: ‘Off to the Races’ – Lana Del Rey

lana_del_rey_born_to_die‘Off to the Races,’ the second track on Lana Del Rey’s 2012 album Born to Die, is equal parts sultry and street, a blend of Nabokov’s Lolita and a thug life Bonnie & Clyde.

The Lolita references, appearing throughout, were an early indicator that Del Rey had more serious, literary concerns than anybody gave her credit for. It was easy to dismiss her as a lightweight based on her looks and the damsel in distress image she projected, but a closer look at her songs shows real depth and craft.

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Song of the Day #1,307: ‘Video Games’ – Lana Del Rey

What am I supposed to think about Lana Del Rey? Having never listened to a single song, I’ve seen her alternately described as indie rock’s next big thing and a vapid, talentless hack. Her striking good looks are admired as icing on top of a very talented cake or dismissed as the only reason she landed a recording contract.

How can all of these things be true?

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