Song of the Day #4,101: ‘California’ – Lana Del Rey

Continuing my countdown of the songs on Lana Del Rey’s Norman Fucking Rockwell.

5. ‘Mariners Apartment Complex’ – This was the other single released a full year ago, and it has been a definite favorite of mine ever since. In fact, if I had heard this song for the first time as an album track it may well be at the top of this list. But I’ve known it for so long now that I’m giving the newer songs an edge for the accompanying sense of discovery.

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Song of the Day #299: ‘California’ – Rufus Wainwright

posesThree years later, in 2001, Wainwright released his second album, Poses. I remember buying the CD during a trip to San Francisco and listening to it for the first time on headphones in our hotel room. An unaccompanied man buying a Rufus Wainwright album in San Francisco — that’s probably the most conspicuously gay thing I’ve done apart from watching Brokeback Mountain alone in Coconut Grove. And sleeping with that guy that time…

Poses shed a lot of the baroque instrumentation of Wainwright’s debut album in favor of a more polished pop sound. Not that it is mainstream by any stretch… his trademark strings and cabaret backing vocals are present on most tracks.

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