I would have fucking loved Lana Del Rey when I was 15, and I half-love her today, but her album hates my guts. There, it’s out. Fuck you, fuck me, fuck her, fuck them, fuck everything.
(Underneath a cut for those sick of reading about her and/or who don’t want to read about my grappling with musical objections. I wasn’t planning on writing about this, but somehow, a few points managed to go unmentioned. Rrrgh.)
It’s easy to understand Del Rey’s appeal without any comparisons: she sings lyrics that could double as Shit Millennials Say notes using an old-fashioned tone and equally old-fashioned worldview, and she does it while being conventionally attractive enough to get a modeling contract–although so did Solange Knowles, Lykke Li and enough people lately that you can’t really use that against her. The mix is appealing enough to essentially guarantee Lana Del Rey’s success through 2012 at least, and that success in turn guarantees that the comparisons will continue. We can’t possibly kibosh them all, but there are a few we wish we could…..
Every year brings the world great songs and great deals of hype. Ideally, the latter would correspond to the former, but ideally a lot of things would be true that aren’t. I can’t tell you what not to listen to (snappy ripoff of a title aside.) What I can do is recommend songs that haven’t gotten nearly the same hype despite having the same draws, because discounting any behind-the-scenes campaigning that most people just speculate at, who gets the hype might as well be random. For every draw, I’ll recommend a song, some from 2011 and some earlier. I’ll do this until I have no more chips on my shoulder.
Because I do like to be timely sometimes, today’s entry is the track you know and have an opinion on: “Video Games.”
(No, I’m not mentioning her name anywhere in this post but the tags. And the Jukebox take-twos will be coming shortly, I promise. I’m doing 11 posts, one for every month that isn’t December.)
If you liked the cinematic, slightly noir sound and her coy vocals: Rebecca Collins’ “Involved,” from her fantastically atmospheric 2008 debut Chameleon Blues, has a slinky, flutter-voiced and just creepy enough first half that’d justify its inclusion here alone — “involved” gets a new connotation every time Rebecca sings it. Then it loses patience with all its coercion, stabbing its brass and lashing its sax out, considerably raising the stakes for the song’s listener and object alike. I don’t know if [name redacted] has sung “I want you for myself” anywhere in her lyrics yet; she could, but it’d be belated.
If you liked that the track mentions video games (no joke, that’s a draw for some): I’ve mentioned Kat Primeau’s “Video Game Girl” here before. The track’s stuffed to bursting with sounds and fantastic, then there’s this: One singer will sulk while her boyfriend plays video games. Another will kick your ass at them. Which is the bigger draw for you?