Lana Del Rey: Don’t Write Her Off Just Yet
The hottest topic in music this week is undoubtedly Lana Del Rey and her spectacular failure on last week’s episode of Saturday Night Live. It’s not at all uncommon for new artists to be hyped up, enjoy brief success, and then fade into obscurity. It is quite rare, however, for an almost-famous artist to book a gig as big as SNL and then commit career suicide live on network television. But such was the case with Lana Del Rey last Saturday, or so it would seem according to countless critics and internet hecklers who have been quick to label the young songstress a talentless hack whose career was dead-on-arrival.
I say they are dead wrong. In the midst of all this negative publicity, Lana Del Rey’s upcoming album Born To Die has reached #25 on Amazon’s Best Sellers in Music list on pre-sales alone and the music video for her single by the same name is nearing 13 million views on YouTube only a month after its release. Furthermore, her status as a pariah of the music industry has granted her the support of scores of sympathetic teenagers, which is precisely the demographic Del Rey and her label are marketing to. Her music and accompanying videos are almost ludicrously melancholy and are filled with the sort of romanticized nihilism that practically defines adolescence for a large number of people.
Despite the disaster that currently defines her, I’m inclined to think that Del Rey actually has a fair bit of talent and potential. Many of you are probably questioning how I can say such a thing after witnessing her SNL debacle, and the answer lies in her abundance of live performances readily accessible on YouTube. Some are better than others, but most are infinitely better than what we saw on SNL. Take a look at her performance of “Born To Die” in November at Nouveau Casino.
She didn’t nail every note, but she did demonstrate a respectable vocal range and, more importantly, she actually performed and connected with the song and her audience. Had she delivered a performance like this on SNL, we probably wouldn’t be ridiculing her now. Don't write Lana Del Rey off just yet.