MUSIC: Everyone Loves (Or Hates) Lana Del Ray: Plus Jay Brannan, Azealia Banks Seems like everyone has an intense opinion about Lana Del Rey right now. Fans say 25-year-old Lizzy Grant (Del Ray’s more conventional birth name) is the next Nancy Sinatra, while haters say she’s a “ho-hum” pop singer repackaged as an indie darling. And that disastrous SNL performance didn’t help her still-developing rep. Strangely, I don’t have a strong view either way. At the moment I’m digging on her in an utterly superficial way: She’s got a couple of catchy singles out that I’m pretty into. Honestly, I don’t even mind that “Video Games” has been stuck in my head for three weeks now. Del Ray’s latest album, Born to Die, is out today but remixes of the second single, also called “Born to Die,”  have been popping up almost daily for a while now. First up, a personal fave of mine, Woodkid, takes a crack at the song—adding some characteristically epic orchestral flourishes without really messing around with the song’s original structure.
Working under the  moniker PDP 13, Blur frontman Damon Albarn gives us a “Born to Die” remix that doesn’t stray too far from the original either. Though his approach is significantly more minimal than the grand scale on which Woodkid operates.  
The video for singer/songwriter Jay Brannan’s latest single—the second from his upcoming album, Rob Me Blind—is decidedly more cinematic than his usual homespun YouTube clips. Still, the song, “Beautifully,” is classic Brannan: romantic, sentimental, clever. It’s got a retro ’90s jangle to it that’s a refreshing—if nostalgic—change of pace from the relentless dance beats of contemporary pop.

Slightly more of-the-moment is Azealia Banks, who’s guest spot on Scissor Sisters’ latest single, “Shady Love,” has catapulted the 20-year-old lyricist into the spotlight. She’s since signed with Universal Music, performed live at Karl Lagerfeld’s house and recorded this little track, “NeedSumLuv.”

Keep an eye on her!

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  • Mike UK

    she has a great voice but getting a bit sick of hearing her at the moment, everytime you turn on the radio she seems to be coming out of the speakers!

  • Caliban

    The criticism of Lana Del Ray is mostly about things other than her music. That she had plastic surgery and bought herself a trout-pout is really not anyone’s business but her own. Few people criticize other musicians for tattoos and piercings for instance. That she originally claimed a literal trailer-park upbringing when her parents are actually quite wealthy (her father made some of that money by “cyber-squatting” on web domains) IS pretty obnoxious, but it’s ancillary to the songs.

    But her SNL performance DID suck.

  • christopher di spirito

    I’d never heard of Lana Del Rey until I saw her on SNL and she was just awful.

    But a number of presumably popular female singers are draining millions out of the music industry who are just dreadful. A few of them include country honey Taylor Swift, machine gun vibrato Demi Lovato, and teen pageant-ready Selena Gomez.

  • John Smith

    When ever I come across a radio station,I tune in just to here her Patsy Cline voice.

  • Mike UK

    @John Smith: she’s good but she’s no Patsy Cline!

  • j

    Why is no one talking about Jay Brannan? Talk about Jay Brannan!!

  • MoJo

    Azealia Banks if pretty Rad! Personally, I don’t love this song, though.
    Why isn’t there a “View All” option so we don’t have to keep clicking next & waiting for all the ads to load?

  • Jouin

    Lana No1curr.

  • JosephJ

    Isn’t Jay’s song a re-tooling of a track from In Living Cover? Love it!

  • Love2LoveBritBrit

    They only reason why people are strongly opinionated about her is because she is beautiful. Some people get negative feelings when someone is so beautiful and talented.

  • Me

    Her album is one of the best thing I’ve heard in a long ass time! Absoluetly beautiful, I’ve never describe an album like that before, but this one deserves it.

  • jstwondering

    I don’t like any of the girls, Del Rey’s voice makes me want to go deaf, Azealia’s NeedSumLuv literlly gives me a headache. And The guy, he has a nice voice but I’m not into that song.

  • Astro


    The artist formerly known as Lizzie Grant doesnt seem all that “beautiful”

Comments are closed.