Born To Die

My April 2012 Song of the Month

I first heard of Lana del Rey, aka Elizabeth Grant, through a Boing Boing post which was making fun of her twirl on her awkward appearance on Saturday Night Live earlier this year. I wondered what in the world they were trying to mock, and the accompanying Lana Del Duck video seemed even odder.

So I found the real video of her first hit, Video Games, and was impressed by her modern take on Nancy Sinatra-style dark song stylings. (Yes, that Nancy Sinatra, of These Boots Were Made For Walkin’ fame, a song which I frankly do NOT care for. I much prefer Sinatra’s rendition of You Only Live Twice, even if it had to be cobbled together from bits and pieces of various takes by a then-ingénue. And her later darker work with Lee Hazlewood is interesting, along with her melancholy take on Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down), made justly famous by Tarintino’s Kill Bill Volume 1.)

Anyway, I was sufficiently intrigued by Lana del Rey’s Video Games to watch her big follow-up video, Born To Die. I was awestruck by the magnificent and beautifully photographed architecture, which I was certain was not CGI but a real setting. It reminded me of the Palace of Versailles, yet I was certain that wasn’t quite what I was seeing. A little research revealed it was filmed at the Palace of Fontainebleu. I don’t care for the drug reference in the song and video, but I do love the lush orchestration and dark tone.

Skipping through clips of her Born To Die album convinced me to buy it. They say artists don’t make good albums anymore, but for me this album is a satisfying contradiction. I love most, if not all, of the songs on it. The production is great and I actually like how her voice awkwardly and abruptly shifts tone, sometimes mid-verse, from a melancholy monotone to that of a childish starlet. Unlike some critics I am not distracted by her trout pout or her stage name. I just like the music, and find the jarring discontinuities in her appearance more alluring than troubling. I wouldn’t want to have a relationship with a “bad girl”, but I certainly don’t mind listening to Lana del Rey’s take on it.

So it was easy to pick the title track as my song of the month for April. My initial favorites from the album are:

Having 8 out of 15 songs on an album earn a 3-star or higher rating in my iTunes collection is a great track record, if you’ll forgive the pun. I’m looking forward to hearing what she produces as her style matures in the coming years.

Born to Die

What?
Who me?
What?

Feet don’t fail me now
Take me to the finish line
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

Walking through the city streets
Is it by mistake or design
I feel so alone on the Friday nights
Can you make it feel like home, if I tell you you’re mine
It’s like I told you honey

Don’t make me sad, don’t make me cry
Sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough
I don’t know why
Keep making me laugh
Let’s go get high
The road is long, we carry on
Try to have fun in the meantime

Come on take a walk on the wild side
Let me kiss you hard in the pouring rain
You like your girls insane
Choose your last words, this is the last time
Cause you and I, we were born to die

Lost but now I am found
I can see but once I was blind
I was so confused as a little child
Trying to take what I could get
Scared that I couldn’t find
All the answers honey

Don’t make me sad, don’t make me cry
Sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough
I don’t know why
Keep making me laugh
Let’s go get high
The road is long, we carry on
Try to have fun in the meantime

Come on take a walk on the wild side
Let me kiss you hard in the pouring rain
You like your girls insane
Choose your last words,
This is the last time
Cause you and I
We were born to die
We were born to die
We were born to die

Come on and take a walk on the wild side
Let me kiss you hard in the pouring rain
You like your girls insane

Don’t make me sad, don’t make me cry
Sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough
I don’t know why
Keep making me laugh
Let’s go get high
The road is long, we carry on
Try to have fun in the meantime

Come on take a walk on the wild side
Let me kiss you hard in the pouring rain
You like your girls insane…
Choose your last words,
This is the last time
Cause you and I
We were born to die

< March 2012 Song of the Month

May 2012 Song of the Month >

About Granger Meador

I enjoy day hikes, photography, podcasts, reading, web design, and technology. My wife, Wendy, and I work in the Bartlesville Public Schools in northeast Oklahoma, but this blog is outside the scope of our employment.
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2 Responses to Born To Die

  1. Pingback: Sweet Sweet Dreams « MEADOR.ORG

  2. Pingback: Drops of Jupiter « MEADOR.ORG

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