Lana Del Rey – ‘Born To Die’

Glorious, pillowy violins with slowed heartbeat blip

LDR hasn’t tweeted much recently, maintaining radio silence as the noise around her reached cacophonous levels. Her second single suggests she knew there was no need to say anything, as the title track from her debut (out January 30) is a riposte that speaks for itself. That’s not to say it’s perfect: the lyrics are gently apocalyptic, but don’t fully commit to their titular fate, occasionally ringing trite as she begs, “Don’t make me sad/Don’t make me cry”. (The line about a guy who likes his girls “insane”, however, suggests ‘Video Games’ “I heard you like the bad girls” might have been a come-on rather than a scared half-question.)

But as with Azealia Banks’ smooth delivery, to an extent the words needn’t mean anything, carried instead by internal rhymes – “Oh, my heart it breaks/Every step that I take/But I’m hoping at the gates they’ll tell me that you’re mine” – that flow like a melted chocolate waterslide, buffeted by impeccable production. The whipping strings nod to Westerns and Gone With The Wind, the archetypal American signifiers Del Rey loves so much, and the pillowy violins, slowed heartbeat blip and patriotic chord progression are glorious. It’s not going to sway those still blathering about her being manufactured, but hey, they just lost their chance to get in on that Lana/hunk cuddle in the video.

Laura Snapes, Assistant Reviews Editor