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484
4.4 out of 5 stars
Born To Die [Explicit]
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352 of 370 people found the following review helpful
Firstly, I want to address the inadequate online loudmouths who seem determined to drive this young woman to a breakdown with the amount of bile they've been spewing in recent months: I don't care about the hype surrounding Lana Del Rey, it doesn't interest me. I don't care that she's changed her name (hardly a new phenomenon in the entertainment industry) or how wealthy her father is. I don't care that she's a nervous live performer - it's hardly surprising given the barrage of attacks she has already faced. Oh, and I certainly don't care whether or not her lips are enhanced by collagen. It's somewhat disturbing that only female singers ever face this kind of harsh scrutiny, but otherwise it's irrelevant.

All that matters to me is the music - and the music is sublime.

A big part of the appeal is that incredible, shiver-inducing voice; one moment it's a world-weary drawl encompassing all the despair of broken dreams and unfulfilled hopes... the next it's girly and playful with an uncomfortable undercurrent of knowing sexuality (hence the 'Lolita' comparisons). It's perfectly matched by the 'Lynchian' quality of the music, a combination of dreamy, seductive Hollywood strings and grimy trailer-park beats. It's Nancy Sinatra lost in the world of Twin Peaks.

Bizarrely a few critics have suggested a certain misogyny is present in her lyrics; they seem determined to remain oblivious to the persona Del Rey clearly adopts in virtually all the songs here - a (sadly not uncommon) teenage girl lacking in self-worth, dreaming only of wealth and celebrity and so desperate to find and hold a man that she willingly accepts indifference or even outright cruelty, telling herself she's in love. It's precisely this which makes songs like Video Games so heartbreakingly tragic. Del Rey is merely portraying (based on personal experience, apparently) the misogyny so many young women still fall victim to, partly because they aren't strong or confident enough to demand the better life they deserve.

To sum up: if you liked the singles Video Games and Born To Die, there's plenty more of the same here. The only real problem Lana Del Rey faces is, how do you follow an album as accomplished as this? I for one can't wait to see what she does next.
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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on 30 January 2012
This is an amazing album. 48 hours ago I had never heard of Lana Del Rey...But when I saw the magnificient cover of "Born to die", I had to give it a try.
I was hoping against hope that she wasn't gonna be another Katy Perry or Lady Gaga, and she's not!
Definitly darker, deeper, Lana Del Rey leans more towards artists such as Kate Bush, Tori Amos or the under-rated Maria McKee (later period) with a hint of Amy Winehouse. A brilliant touch of modernity in the arrangements without ever falling into the cheap "dance" or "r'n'b" format, but rather staying in some sort of ambient style.
Overall, the album is very slow and dark (americana comes to mind), the stings arrangements are superb, it is a very atmospheric album, and Lana Del Rey displays a large range in her vocals, from deep "murder ballad"-like singing to bimbo-like whisperings (although not too much thank you!). Only four stars though, because some songs feel more like fillers than anything else and repeat the same scenario.

This is an artist I didn't expect at all, and I'm quite pleased to have heard and bought this cd!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2012
A brilliant, haunting, dark, but warm voice. Lots of reverb applied, which works well, and is only slightly sickly by the end. If you happen to have a collection of female vocals with deeper than average voices you might not be blown away by this album, but it's a new sound to me and I love it. She possesses a blend of soulful, sexy, ultra cool and occasionally playful tones. The music itself is not too busy and has quite a heavy bass and percussion which gives it an edge and more momentum than many 'proper' female solo singers. Much of the album has a kind of cynical, depressive, reflective feel which certainly suits her vocals. I agree with another reviewer who says the 'samples' give it a nineties hip-hop feel sometimes, but to me this works really well. The BBC review correctly states the album fades a little later on...but every album I own does that.

Has a hint of Coco Rosie about it at times.

Could well be the best album I buy this year.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I'd never really paid much attention to Lana Del Rey before the album release, having only heard a remix of Video Games that didn't do the original justice. I looked at what the internet was saying and the reviews seemed oddly mixed between those who said every track was great and those who seemed to have some sort of a grudge against her that no-one could properly define. I made my own mind up, and very quickly joined the ranks of those who love every track.

Born To Die is a strong opener and, in similar tones to Video Games, meshes haunting melody and lyrics with a gritty, torch song quality, oddly verging between dirge and pop. Off To The Races continues the haunting theme with an offbeat love song that may at first seem like a celebration of being shallow but very quickly reveals maturity and depth, and once listened to is difficult to forget. Blue Jeans is a beautiful pop song slowed down to a pace where it almost feels like a ballad. Video Games is simply the most beautiful song of the last year. Diet Mountain Dew is a breezy almost nonchalant pop song.

National Anthem is a playful song that on the surface has some lines that might make you think it's a clumsy way of celebrating the money and fame worship you hear in some other singers' songs, but the OTT way it's done and some of the lyrics, once closely listened to, clearly show it's a send up. Dark Paradise, a beautiful ballad about loss, is like an Evanescence song without the operatics. Radio is one of those guilty pleasure songs - a laid back pop song with a chorus that, if played on radio, would require much editing, and yet still manages to remain sounding innocent and beautiful. Carmen is a warning tale of the sad effects of Hollywood. Million Dollar Man is an old time dirge ballad with an undercurrent of sadness, and is extremely classy. Now comes one of my favourite new pop songs - Summertime Sadness. At this point you may think there is a theme of depression sinking into the songs, but this song is hard to describe because it somehow manages to be downbeat and uplifting at the same time. Ending the main album is This Is What Makes Us Girls, which is another one of those songs that could appear to be glamorising shallowness, yet at the same time has very knowing lyrics and manages to hook you into the story it's telling.

The three extra tracks don't stray too far from the winning formula of the main album. Without You is a heartfelt ballad that it is hard to believe was left off the main album. Lolita is a playful song that perhaps is a bit too much Avril Lavigne in her unconvincing bratty stage to fit too well with the other songs, yet isn't what you'd call bad. Lucky Ones is definitely the song that should end the album, a gentle ballad that slips comfortably into the silence at the end of the CD.
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143 of 162 people found the following review helpful
Firstly, I want to address the inadequate online loudmouths who seem determined to drive this young woman to a breakdown with the amount of bile they've been spewing in recent months: I don't care about the hype surrounding Lana Del Rey, it doesn't interest me. I don't care that she's changed her name (hardly a new phenomenon in the entertainment industry) or how wealthy her father is. I don't care that she's a nervous live performer - it's hardly surprising given the barrage of attacks she has already faced. Oh, and I certainly don't care whether or not her lips are enhanced by collagen. It's somewhat disturbing that only female singers ever face this kind of harsh scrutiny, but otherwise it's irrelevant.

All that matters to me is the music - and the music is sublime.

A big part of the appeal is that incredible, shiver-inducing voice; one moment it's a world-weary drawl encompassing all the despair of small town broken dreams and unfulfilled hopes... the next it's girly and playful with an uncomfortable undercurrent of knowing sexuality (hence the 'Lolita' comparisons). It's perfectly matched by the 'Lynchian' quality of the music, a combination of dreamy, seductive Hollywood strings and grimy trailer-park beats - glamourous and tawdry all at once. It's Nancy Sinatra lost in the world of Twin Peaks.

Bizarrely a few critics have suggested a certain misogyny is present in her lyrics; they seem determined to remain oblivious to the persona Del Rey clearly adopts in virtually all the songs here - a (sadly not uncommon) teenage girl lacking in self-worth, dreaming only of wealth and celebrity and so desperate to find and hold a man that she willingly accepts indifference or even outright cruelty, telling herself she's in love. It's precisely this which makes songs like Video Games so heartbreakingly tragic. Del Rey is merely portraying (based on personal experience, apparently) the misogyny so many young women still fall victim to, partly because they aren't strong or confident enough to demand the better life they deserve.

To sum up: if you liked the singles Video Games and Born To Die, there's plenty more of the same here. The only real problem Lana Del Rey faces is, how do you follow an album as accomplished as this? I for one can't wait to see what she does next.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on 30 January 2012
I bought this album as soon as I could on the day of release. A lot of albums are over-hyped to an nth degree, and invariably they fail to live up to expectation. I was so worried this would too. After the furore in the press about Lana's background (and frankly, I couldn't care less about that), and the exposure her music has already had - notably the simply wonderful 'Video Games' - I have to admit that I was hoping this wouldn't be a few good tracks and a heap of fillers.

11:23 am, and this is the third time I've played this today. It is seriously that good. As a man brought up on the likes of The Tindersticks and Nick Cave (with and without his Bad Seeds), there has been a lack of a good, romantic melancholy female voice. The Handsome Family have got close from time to time, but there was no heroine for us. Amongst the beauty of her voice there's a definite sorrow. The fateful resignation of Video Games, the complicity of Off To The Races, the deep, deep pain of Carmen, the anguish of Summertime Sadness... If you've ever heard Mother Fist And Her Five Daughters by Marc Almond, you get an idea of what this album is like. Lana's voice is hauntingly beautiful, deep and brooding, with an inherent, breathless sexuality that just draws you in. From the opening strains of Born To Die, you're hooked. Dark, and yet stunning in every sense.

One last thing. This album is going to be shipped over the file-sharing networks en masse. Don't go there. BUY this album, don't steal it. Lana has been through a lot to get this album together and released, including being sued over the video she put together for Video Games. Never before has anyone deserved your money than this release. Do the right thing, put your hand into your bank account, and get this legally. Of course you should be doing that anyway, regardless of who the artist album. But buying this album will do two things. Firstly, it'll give her the financial ability to keep going, to keep making albums like this. And secondly, this album will be a hit, and give her the emotional incentive to release another one. Rant over. Click 'Add to Basket' above, and make her a bit of cash.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2013
When I first listened I had to agree with the "she sounds so depressing and drones forever crew", but now I'm in love. Every single song on this album sounds very cinematic and is described as wanting to be so by Lana herself which lends well if you like to imagine things while listening to music - I know I do! The album sounds very dreamy and ethereal at times. From the music and samples, to the lyrics, this is a very consistent album and everything sounds as if it fits on here (unlike other albums which are a mixed bag). This is still a very enjoyable album and I can honestly say I love every song except for Lolita. It's very very hard to chose one favourite.

1. Born To Die
Painfully beautiful. Melancholy and somewhat sad. Took off a mark because it is a bit slow and could get boring after a while. But trust me, its a long while. 9/10

2. Off To The Races
More fast paced and one of the more upbeat ones. The song itself isn't that cheerful, which says something about the whole album! (It doesn't matter though, I don't care much about the lack of happy songs. I think the album works very well the way is!) Lana's voice goes from very deep to high in different parts of the song and works very well in the track. 9/10

3. Blue Jeans
I love the way this song is crafted! A real grower but also catchy, again one of the upbeat ones. You will be singing this all day. 10/10

4. Video Games
Where it all started. Melancholy, slow, powerful. When anyone first listens to this song, it usually gets their undivided attention. Her voice just stands out and commands attention and sends shivers down your spine. Even my mum who doesn't even listen to much music commented on how beautiful her voice was. I'm trying to not use the word cinematic because all the songs are, but this one I would say is the most. 10/10

5. Diet Mountain Dew
This song sounds so familiar but I can't put my finger on what song it sounds like!! Oh well. Its a good song but not one of my favourites. It has a catchy tune in the chorus, albeit a bit repetitive. And I have no idea what diet mountain dew has to do with anything... maybe I'm missing something? 7/10

6. National Anthem
At first I didn't like this song, but what can I say, it grew on me! I must say, I also don't understand the lyrics. I suppose the whole album is meant for throwing a few words around to create an image. "I'm your National Anthem, God, you're so handsome, Take me to the Hamptons, Bugatti Veyron."?! Again I think I'm missing something, if it's meant to be humorous (it probably is) I don't get it. But anyway, the tune, singing and the music itself is very good and very catchy. 8/10

7. Dark Paradise
Dark (as the name suggests), I find this song a bit reminiscent of evanescence, with the loud drum beat and haunting vocals. "Every time I close my eyes, its like a dark paradise." Love this! 10/10

8. Radio
The start is quite slow and a bit dreary, but erupts into a fast paced chorus. "Now my life is sweet like cinnamon, like a f****** dream I'm living in." I don't know why, but I can imagine he singing this at a festival or a concert and the crowd singing along in the chorus! 8/10

9. Carmen
The tune is not that special, the song is a bit sad and depressing... but why can't I stop singing this song?! For the past few days I just could get this song out of my head. "The boys. The girls. They all like Carmen." All.day.long. It did grow on me a lot and I have a feeling this is why its her next single. 8/10

10. Million Dollar Man
Beautiful song which will not leave you. I actually think its perfect, and it's very soothing, Lana's vocals are also very piercing and sound strong in this. 10/10

11. Summertime Sadness
This is like an anthem, didn't think much of it at first but now I love it! It's quite a feel good song, hmm even though the song is called summertime sadness? 10/10

12. This Is What Makes Us Girls
A song that tells a story! Even though to me the chorus doesn't make much sense, "This is what makes us girls, We all look for heaven and we put our love first, Somethin' that we'd die for, it's our curse, Don't cry about it, don't cry about it."...nope don't get it. But I think I can forgive that because the song is overall good. A good end to the album if you don't get the deluxe version as its one of the more fast paced songs. 9/10

13. Without You
Too good to be on the deluxe I think (well its probably because they want people to buy it). It's one of my favourites out of the whole album! Upbeat, catchy. 10/10

14. Lolita
Fast paced, haunting, a tad creepy, loud. Not my cup of tea. 2/10

15. Lucky Ones
A more feel good song, and another great way to end the album. Soothing, catchy, nice chorus. I really like this one. 9/10

Thanks for reading!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 November 2012
Having discovered Lana Del Rey several months before either her career or Video Games had achieved its surge in popularity to mainstream media, I remember witnessing her on Later With Jools Holland. My dad and I sat through her quiet, touching performance of 'Video Games' and we both agreed simultaneously that this was something special. Special in a sense that she broke away from the rest of the pretty faces in music endlessly recycling their poor-quality music. Further inspection of the tracks on this album only confirmed my hopes from that very first performance.
Strong, catchy, fiery and seductive tones resonate through the album, with a surprisingly consistent retainment of above-average lyrical content. Lana finds the delicate midpoint between catchy pop-style rhythm and darker, moodier blues and indie throughout the album, allowing it to reach a wider scope of listener. The stand-out tracks are the 3 solid ones available prior to release -'Born To Die', 'Video Games' and 'Blue Jeans', however every track is enjoyable after a mere few listenings. In particular, 'Diet Mountain Dew' and 'Summertime Sadness' are tracks worthy of mention. The album grows on you quickly and, if any, there are only two weak tracks that spring to mind - 'Million Dollar Man' and 'Dark Paradise'.
Breaking the tedium of almost all other American pop music, Lana Del Rey's 'Born to Die' is well worth a listen but to be embraced cautiously. I can't shake the feeling that this is a one-off success and a follow-up album would be considerably weaker. If live performances are anything to go by, Lana reflects the quality of this album, however we must all wait patiently to eagerly assess her next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 28 August 2012
So what if she has a privileged background - why the hell is that a problem for some? Is greed better than envy? No!
Having seen Lana performing on TV, she may not be the most relaxed performer & she needs to smile just occasionally but gives (me) an insight into America's darker corners than many artists do but Lana does in a singular fashion that seems to perturb some. Unfortunately, life ain't quite without its pain & bruising so I admire artists who don't try to gloss over the less pleasant aspects.
Many will have heard the opening title track with its orchestral strings before Lana's voice rises through. Poignant fits the bill. Off To The Races (live) reminds me of a paragraph with few full stops where the music is upbeat as a song featuring cocaine addiction is likely to get! The next track, Blue Jeans opens with very simple guitar plucks that really drill straight into my head & is the song that does it for me he most on this album. The forth track is Video Games where the string section is accompanied by a harp to fine effect. I also like the slow-moving Million Dollar Man, Without You & the musical complexity of Lolita. The closing song, Lucky Ones, is about the hope bourn from escape.
As someone who likes classical, pop, dance, rock, electronica etc, I'm not a great lover of classical music fused into pop but it's done reasonably well here. If I was to try to come up with what this album is about, I suppose observing getting what we want from life comes with a lot of unwelcome baggage - especially when desire enters the equation describes it. No one is going to call Lana Del Ray's subject matter shallow, she's a good observer of the claustrophobia of small-town America. As far as freedom is concerned, we all have some way to go.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2012
What a superb album!

It is difficult to describe this album musically but for me it is in the same vein as 'Massive Attack' and 'Portishead' with some elements of 'Madonna' (with the track 'This is what Makes Us Girls') from the mid 90s with a dreamy 'Twin Peaks' production theme running through the whole album, she reminds me vocally of 'Sophie Ellis Bexter' on some of the tracks like 'Dark Paradise' for instance.

This album is so refreshing and different from what is out there at present i just love the whole dreamy 'Twin Peaks' production.

Like With 99% of most albums you buy there are tracks you don't like for me this is 'Carmen' & 'Lolita' i just can't connect with these. There are some real growers which end up being your favourites like 'Radio' & 'Off to the races'

The best part of the album for me is the first half... tracks 1 -8 and worth paying £11.00 for this alone.

The Best tracks

'Born to die' & 'Video Games' - (The Singles)

'Blue Jeans'-(Future Single)
'National Anthem'-(Future Single)
'Radio'-(Future Single)
'Summertime Sadness'
'Lucky Ones'

Real Growers:

'Off To The Races'
Diet Mountain View'
'Dark Paradise'
'Million Dollar Man'

If you only buy one album this year make it this one! - you won't regret it!!
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