From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

The Lana Del Rey Effect

with 11 comments

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!

***Follow me on Twitter here*** 

Written by Anon PA

January 30, 2012 at 11:30 am

11 Responses

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  1. Noblet and I both fell in love with the hypnotic Video Games as soon as we heard it last year. But what we confused about was all the vitriol we found on Google. People proclaiming how she was fraud and writing as if they had uncovered the conspiracy of the century. Other people were upset that her father was able to support her financially. There were even some saying that her music video was the biggest, most blatant copy of every other video that used second-hand clips. Everything about her was poked and pulled, but nothing more than her sexuality. It appeared that her biggest offense was being attractive.

    We were both confused. What had this girl done? We later found out that she had done nothing wrong. Or nothing that ANY OTHER POP ARTIST OF THE LAST FIFTY YEARS HAS DONE. As you rightly say – all artists adopt a persona, all (at some stage) have an investor or benefactor and all use their sexuality.

    I could go on. But just realised that I’ve echoed your entire viewpoint.


    January 30, 2012 at 8:25 pm

  2. Everyone is either talking about her, or talking about other people talking about her. The fact that her album has been out a day and is number 1 on iTunes charts all over the world right now suggests that all this talk has actually got people interested in her album.

    She might be divisive, but that never hurt GaGa. And the more I look at her, the more she makes me think she might be almost as media savvy.

    And yes, Video Games is a belter of a song.


    January 31, 2012 at 6:29 pm

  3. Reblogged this on youthandhysteria and commented:
    Remember, at the end of the day it is all about the music!

    Bianca Gracie

    January 31, 2012 at 9:52 pm

  4. Love this post! People need to realize that at the end of the day, it is all about the music. Yes, people have personas. But this has been going on for decades. What makes Lana Del Rey any different than her collegaeues and predecessors? We all need to take a breather from the hype the media has created, simply press ‘play’ and enjoy.

    Bianca Gracie

    January 31, 2012 at 9:56 pm

  5. I must admit, I have been a bit obvlivious to all the Del-Rey-Hate until the last week or so. It’s all pretty pathetic, really.

    As you say, how is it any different to Lady GaGa (who I also respect, for different, yet similar reasons). The fact is, the gal can sing, she has really interesting, visceral lyrics, and she has an alluring, haunting image. There is nothing wrong with an artist creating an image – it is all part of the ART.


    February 1, 2012 at 2:10 am

  6. Thanks for all the comments! I’m beginning to suspect music jounalists are united on the LDR hating yet secretly listening to her album behind closed doors. No one wants to go against the grain so to speak! Strange.

    The Spin done an insightful piece about her, well researched and factual. Worth a read and can be found here.

    Anon PA

    February 1, 2012 at 9:24 am

  7. Reblogged this on bunny teeth no more and commented:
    Rich kid or not, pillow lips aside, Lana’s voice is awesome. Look how people can be so insecure collectively.


    February 1, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    • Definitely agree with you here. The press are like school bullies – and they’re probably super jealous of her amazingness, just like the mean kids in the playground.


      February 2, 2012 at 1:23 pm

      • Yeah. And it’s not as if she was without talent, you know? I don’t know what crawled up their butts. 😉


        February 6, 2012 at 4:41 pm

  8. Wow, you write so beautifully. Well said! I love her look – pouty mouth and all – it’s great….and it’s certainly better than any outrageous Lady Gaga fashion “statement”!


    February 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm

  9. […] the sane, clever, witty lady zero favours. Mens appearance is not picked apart in minute details (Lana Del Rey recently at the receiving end of quite vitriolic abuse). But the people, male and female, I […]

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