March 26, 2014
Lana Del Cray
Alright. So recently I’ve been getting really into Lana Del Rey. Like, really into her stuff. I realize I’m a bit late to this party, but I’ve been absentmindedly skipping and thumbs-downing EVERYTHING of hers on Pandora for over a year, and then at some point found myself listening to “Born to Die” and falling in love. I started listening to everything else, and I dug pretty much all of it. I think her voice is super sexy, along with the giant orchestral, 60’s style sound that accompanies everything. There’s a “but” here of course.
Like I can listen to stuff without analyzing the content. Yup. This feminist lens just isn’t going away. The themes in her music are pretty fucked up. It’s all about worshiping a guy. Seriously. Worshiping a guy and being a passive femmebot, existing to satisfy his desire because that is what makes her happy, putting down relationships with women in the only song where anyone but her man exists, and MY PERSONAL FAVORITE: singing about being a Lolita. There’s a song called Lolita, and in one of her other songs shes quotes the first couple lines of the actual novel “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov, “light of my life, fire of my loins.” For fucks sake. She’s not the only pop star who has done this. Katy Perry fashioned her “One of the Boys” album cover off of the character, and in the song of the same title she sings “I studied Lolita religiously/I walked right into school and caught you staring at me.” Lolita is about a middle-aged dude obsessed with this “nymph” adolescent (12 when he meets her) girl who doesn’t even have the ability to give consent but is supposedly seducing this grown man.
Alright. . . Shaking my head, I’m back! The point is. Lana and Katy are grown women, with sexy curves, and sexual agency. And even when Katy was first crooning about this shit she was a decade too old to be a Lolita. Not sexy, not something that should be aspired to, since, the whole thing was, you know, about pedophilia. And yeah, I did read the book, which is I’m guessing (hoping?) more than I can say for these
ladies. Aside from that, there are some super sexualized violent images so that’s problematic too.
So. . . Since I feel the need to justify liking her music since the themes are pretty fucked up, I’m going to do that. By making the argument that her stuff is ACTUALLY satirical. Seriously. Some of these lyrics are laugh out loud, it’s like she’s created this stage persona of a really bored Barbie doll. For most of the songs, even when singing lyrics that you’d think would be passionate, she really sounds bored. Except when she’s doing the Lolita thing and using a baby voice. I guess that’s emoting.
In “Blue Jeans” she falls in love with a James Dean fella who leaves her but Lana ain’t gonna move on. “I will love you til the end of time, I could wait a million years.”
“Oh that grace, oh that body, oh that face, makes me wanna party. He’s my sun, he makes me shine, like diamonds.” Love it.
“In the land of Gods and Monsters, I was an Angel, looking to get fucked hard (but seriously I laughed out loud at this one)
Like a groupie incognito posing as a real singer, life imitates art.”
“This is what makes us girls, we don’t stick together ’cause we put our love first.” Really Lana?? Don’t you know that sisterhood is powerful?
I could go on (there are a few more lyric pages pulled up, ripe with material) but there’s the idea. If you REALLY want to hear some good shit, listen to “Cola.” Wowsers.
Anyway, after spending the better part of an hour actually READING through everything rather than just listening as I put on my
Hot Girl Disguise (calm down, it’s a Jenna Marbles reference) I’ve actually convinced myself further that the whole thing is a facade. And I neeeeed to believe that in order to continue to enjoy her music, because I do like it! In fact, in thinking about writing this, I may also be writing another about some of the messages from popular female artists that are positive in relation to men. *I seriously can’t stop listening to this song, and I chose it specifically because I’ve heard many arguments going the other way.
Anyway, to reiterate from above: I don’t think Lana would be good for younger girls to listen to who don’t understand the concept of satire. To take her messages about love and relationships to heart would be pretty bad. BUT I am a grown woman, and since I’d like to think I have fairly healthy ideas about romantic relationships (I’m wearing this sexy sundress for ME, not just for you, sucka) I can enjoy her stuff for what it is. And it IS satire, but her voice, the music, and even the kooky lyrics are kind of super sexy and at this point irresistible to me, especially when I’m getting ready for a date or to go out with friends. So I’m going to keep listening to this melancholy goddess, if for no other reason than it inspires me to up my liquid eyeliner game.