Lana del Rey: Overrated or Underrated?

With the somewhat new release of Lana del Rey’s album, “Norman F*cking Rockwell,” I thought it was time to do a thorough review. Lana del Rey aka Elizabeth Woolridge Grant is an American baroque pop singer. She has a major cult-following and a unique vintage style. As an avid Lana del Rey fan, I decided to honor the “Norman F*cking Rockwell” album by doing a deep dive through past albums. I divided up 15 LDR songs into 3 categories: overrated, appropriately rated, and underrated.

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These songs were definitely weighed down by overuse and overhype. The depth and rhythms either weren’t there for me initially or died after the 1000th time I heard it.

“Summertime Sadness” (“Born to Die” 2012)

  • The original version is an average Lana song. In 2013, Cedric Gervais created a remix of “Summertime Sadness” that blew up. It made it on to the Billboard Hot 100 and is Lana's most popular song. This is really unfortunate because the only way "Summertime Sadness" makes me feel is sad. 

“Young and Beautiful” (“Born to Die” 2011)

  • Again, “Young and Beautiful” was overplayed and ruined via Baz Luhrmann’s remix for “The Great Gatsby” movie. Like “Summertime Sadness,” it was considered an average Lana del Rey song. Because Luhrmann and Gervais “made” del Rey into a “household name,” we are supposed to be grateful. While I am all for more Lana exposure, I hate that the integrity of the music dies with crappy remixes.

“Venice B*tch” (“Norman F*cking Rockwell” 2019)

  • “Venice B*tch” is immerging as the standout song of Lana’s new album. I don’t think that “Venice B*tch” is at the same level of overrated-ness as the past two songs, but it seems to be heading there.

“Ultraviolence” (“Ultraviolence” 2014)

  • “Ultraviolence” is a good song, not a great one though, and most certainly not the best on the “Ultraviolence” album. I wish that Spotify would stop pushing “Ultraviolence” up my recommended list.

“F*cked My Way Up to the Top” (“Ultraviolence” 2014)

  • This a unique case. I actually really love “F*cked My Way Up to the Top,” but I think it is liked for the edgy lyrics instead of the actual meaning. “F*cked My Way Up to the Top” is kind of a clap back at one of Lana’s early critics. It is both self-deprecating but also self-righteous. There is a lot of emotion swirling around. If you listen to “F*cked My Way Up to the Top” do it for your love of Lana instead of your love of edgy-ness.

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Appropriately Rated

All of these songs are amazing and given the appropriate amount of hype. If you are a Lana-newbie, you should definitely start here:

“Video Games” (“Born to Die” 2011)

 “Cinnamon Girl” (“Norman F*cking Rockwell” 2019)

 “Shades of Cool” (“Ultraviolence” 2014)

“13 Beaches” (“Lust for Life” 2017)

“Terrence Loves You” (“Honeymoon” 2015)

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These five songs do not get the attention they deserve:

“F*ck it I Love You” (“Norman F*cking Rockwell” 2019)

  • Because the “Norman F*cking Rockwell” album is still fresh, I hope that “F*ck it I Love You” catches on. It is my favorite song so far. I want to shower everyone with Lana’s “Love.”

“Ride” (“Paradise” 2012)

  • All-time favorite Lana song. Although someone once described the song as “whiney,” it has amazing lyrics and an even better music video. Side note: if you think Lana’s voice is “whiney” at any point in time, please don’t listen to her because you are undeserving. “Ride” is relatable and gives you a boost when you are down.

“Cruel World” (“Ultraviolence” 2014)

  • This wasn’t the standout song off “Ultraviolence,” but it should’ve been. Other hits like “Brooklyn Baby” or “Shades of Cool” kind of overshadowed the albums other songs. I think that “Cruel World” has a slightly different sound than the rest of “Ultraviolence” which makes it a hidden gem.

“Yayo” (“Paradise” 2012)

  • “Yayo” is one of Lana del Rey’s first songs. She originally released it in 2008 as Lizzy Grant in “Kill Kill” then as Lana del Rey in her self-titled album (2010) before finally releasing an updated version in “Paradise” (2012). When you place “Yayo” in the context of her experience, it is truly incredible. “Yayo” has intense lyrics and is wholly original for a debut song.

 “Beautiful People Beautiful Problems” feat. Stevie Nicks (“Lust For Life” 2017)

  • What’s better than Lana del Rey? Lana del Rey + Stevie Nicks. These are my two-favorite witchy/boho/(insert groovy adjective) singers. This collaboration has me weak even after two years. It is a MUST LISTEN. 

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