April 22nd, 2014 12:44pm

They Love Their Movies

Lana Del Rey “West Coast”

The most fascinating thing about Lana Del Rey is the very thing that makes her infuriating to many people: She’s a total enigma who refuses to give her audience anything other than a vivid, distinct, highly stylized aesthetic. Her mask never slips so it’s impossible to tell when she’s being serious and when she’s just fucking with you, and while I find that tension very exciting and thoughtful, people who yearn for earnest authenticity in their pop music – or even an identifying human being at the center of it all – are left wanting. But I like Lana as a trollish provocateur, and she’s done enough music and videos at this point that there is no doubt in mind that she’s a very intelligent artist with a lot to say. The ironies and contradictions are the point, the distance between “the real her” and what she embodies is meant to be foregrounded. A lot of Lana’s art is about embracing glamour as a way of making life more thrilling, and implicitly asking “Why wouldn’t you want to make your experiences feel more sexy and cinematic?” “West Coast” is very much about this frame of mind, and how the mythology of Hollywood enhances the excitement of being around – or away from – another of her bad boy love interests. Everything and everyone is an archetype in a Lana Del Rey song, but in context, it’s not a dehumanizing thing. If anything, she’s coming from a position that by turning everything into a story, the world feels more alive.

Buy it from Amazon.

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