The Lana Del Rey Effect
What I will refer to as The Lana Del Rey Effect (TLDRE for short, although I doubt it’s an acronym that will catch on) has had me scratching my head and adopting a puzzled look with more and more frequency the closer it got to her debut album release. I can’t recall another artist that has had so much negative, and at times sexist, column inches bringing in the old saying “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” to question.
The music press have been writing about Lana Del Rey in the style of The Sun or Heat magazines celebrity tittle-tattle more than about the music. The reoccurring theme seems to be that Lana Del Rey is somehow defrauding us. We are all being duped by this siren, luring us on to the rocks with her ghetto gold and trailer park tales of tough times.
Hundreds of artists before her have adopted alternative personas, worn so closely to their own skin that it is all we see, not separating the character from the artist. I am certain Lady Gaga doesn’t wear high shine mint pleather talking in riddles every second of the day. I also doubt Sid Vicious bowled up to his parents and called them *cunts over the Sunday roast, spitting expletives over the yorkshire puddings.
The likes of Lady GaGa, David Bowie’s Thin White Duke and Ziggy Stardust, Beyoncé’s Sasha Fierce are all clearly dress up, fantasy and creativity. In short, clearly an act. Perhaps the guise of Lana Del Rey is too subtle to the eye which is why a lot of people seem to obsess that she is faking it.
Of course, we then have to add her millionaire father into the equation, the bank balance seemingly adding insult to injury. Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Mick Jagger were all middle class boys. Was Mick Jagger literally a street fighting man? No, he wasn’t in the thick of working class riots throwing the punches but he was a voice for that disillusioned group, a call to arms, he gave them an anthem. That is the beauty of music.
Which finally leads me to the blatant sexism directed at Lana. The worst, the one that had me googling Germaine Greer’s telephone number and weeping that she didn’t lead us to the promised land after all comes from a female for Drowned In Sound
“But she gives off that certain air, you know, that she’d turn herself into anything for any man if that’s what it took.”
I’ll just let those words sit there, feel your own outrage bubble up in your stomach and ask yourself ‘Would the same words be said about a man?’
Of course, if you lived with and loved Lizzy Grant all your life and suddenly she’s offended you by hiring a stylist and a PR company in order to sell records and the person you adored fell to the wayside like a dead relation no one is allowed to mention then I apologise profusely. It appears the offense is her father bankrolled the PR machine, or is it that she’s female, or is it that she’s singing about situations she has no personal experience of like a million other songs? It’s quite clear that for the press these factors override the record sales.
I’m not even writing this as a huge fan of Lana Del Rey. I’m writing this as a reminder that we’re meant to just enjoy music for what it is at times and there’s no denying Video Games is a belter of a song. ♥
*Apologies for the C word to my parents!
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