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YMMV / Lana Del Rey

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Critics talk about her as being either the incredible next big thing or an overhyped corporate sellout.
      • Or simply, manufactured pop star like Selena Gomez vs. made up her own alternative identity Lady Gaga style.
    • Does she really mean comments about wanting to die young or is she trying to play up the image of a tragic starlet?
    • How literal are her songs? Is it all metaphors? Reality? She has becomes so distant from interviews and such it's hard to know anymore.
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  • Archive Panic: While she has only five official albums and an EP, you don't have to look far to find an absolute torrent of previous albums released under other names, unreleased songs, b-sides, leaks and demos of hers to peruse. Most of it is up on YouTube, so by all means, go nuts.
  • Awesome Music:
    • All of Born to Die.
    • From Paradise, "Ride", Burning Desire" and "Gods And Monsters".
    • From Ultraviolence, "Ultraviolence", "West Coast", "Fucked My Way Up To The Top".
    • Most of her unreleased material, but special mention goes to "Prom Song (Gone Wrong)".
    • The chorus of "Blue Jeans" is especially beautiful.
    • "Venice Bitch" in all its 10 minute glory.
  • Broken Base: While Ultraviolence got rather good reviews and appealed to most of her fans, it caused a more mixed reaction with people who liked her popish side from the Born to Die singles like the title track, "Video Games", and "Summertime Sadness".
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  • Critical Dissonance: Most critics were dismissive of Born to Die when it came out and saw it as a mediocre pop album, and they didn't particularly like Paradise either compare to her later albums (An Up to Eleven example being Pitchfork which gave Norman Fucking Rockwell! a 9.4 compared to Born to Die's 5.5. Her other albums received scores around the 7). Meanwhile, most of her fans like all of her albums and think they're all good in their own way. Some think ''Born to Die'' is her best album.
  • Dream Team: With the announcement that Courtney Love will be touring with Lana in 2015.
    • With The Weeknd on his single "Prisoner" and her own single "Lust for Life".
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: She is by far the most memorable and well-received part of the song "Don't Call Me Angel" (the promotional single released for Charlie's Angels (2019)), despite only singing a bridge and having to stand against the star power of Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus.
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  • Epic Riff: The counterpoint piano in "Diet Mountain Dew" and "Lolita". The guitar riff in "Brooklyn Baby" could definitely also qualify.
  • Even Better Sequel / Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Norman Fucking Rockwell! is the most critically acclaim album in Lana's entire discography. Avert with fans, who like it equally to her other albums.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Lana fans and Lady Gaga fans seem to have split due to the diss track "So Legit" surfacing. However it wasn't always that way...
    • Lorde fans and Lana fans do not always get along, perhaps mainly because of the former's criticism towards Lana's (supposed) shallow love of opulance, regardless of how obvious the dark side of the American Dream is made in her work. The fact that some fans speculate how "FMWTTT" may be about Lorde doesn't help.
    • Lana herself triggered another rivalry in 2018 with Azealia Banks after the latter criticised a comment by the former condemning Kanye West's pro-Trump views. This led to all-out Twitter war.
  • Friendly Fandoms: On tumblr fans of Lady Gaga also really liked Lana before "So Legit". While there are tons of fans who still like both of them there is a definite divide.
    • She appeals to the same spirit which makes Lorde popular. The same dystopia, exhaustion, darkness.
    • The Other Wiki mentions her music as Chamber Pop, like Florence and The Machine, and there is cross support there.
    • She also had a fan base of both current and ex Britney fans, as her voice is soft and emotionally tuned like Brit.
    • By far one of the bigger examples is the fanbase with Marina Diamandis. Both women appeal greatly to the indie crowd. It helps that the artists are friends and fans of each other's work.
  • Faux Symbolism: The video for "West Coast" features scenes of Lana superimposed in flames and it's rather reminiscent of Anima Sola or the Lonely Soul which is a soul trapped in Purgatory.
  • Genius Bonus: Lana's music is ripe with references to philosophy and literature, if you know where to look. She's especially fond of Vladimir Nabokov and Walt Whitman on the literature side of things, and her degree in metaphysics lends itself to more than a few aesops on youth, death and love — most of which lose themselves in the midst of all her angsting about bad men and the Sentient Cosmic Forces keeping her away from them.
  • Genre Turning Point: The success of her debut album Born to Die has been creditted to bringing sadcore to the mainstream as well as one of the contributing factors bringing the hushed, breathy vocals, Darker and Edgier lyrics (in her case, criticizing the American dream and portray death and abusive relationships) to pop music.
  • Growing the Beard: Once the below Hype Backlash blew over, her subsequent albums started receiving more positive critical attention, which has so far peaked with Norman Fucking Rockwell (which is currently Allmusic's album pick and her highest rated album on Sputnikmusic).
  • Hype Backlash: After receiving so much critical praise for her first single, Del Rey was viciously attacked by many critics after her performance on the Saturday Night Live episode hosted by Daniel Radcliffe. Three weeks later, on the episode hosted by Channing Tatum, Kristen Wiig appeared as Lana Del Rey on Weekend Update to speak out against her critics who trashed her performance (and think of her as a manufactured pop star with no musical talent, experience, or credibility) and herself.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Misaimed Fandom: A few culture critics have interpreted her Vladimir Nabokov obsession and subsequent references to Lolita as glamorising the 'nymphet' image to extent that Nabokov himself would be very uncomfortable with. This article goes into further detail.
  • Never Live It Down: Her Saturday Night Life appearance is frequently brought up by her distractor as evidence that Lana relies more on image than on talent.
    • Back when she was first breaking into the mainstream, Lana was calling herself the “gangsta Nancy Sinatra” on social media—a moniker that the press subsequently ran with. Lana herself has later come on record saying it was a spur-of-the-moment thing that she regrets for misrepresenting her.
  • Signature Song: “Video Games” is far and away her best known song.
    • “Young and Beautiful” is also pretty well known and is usually counted as a favourite among fans.
  • Stoic Woobie: Goes hand-in-hand with her Lana persona being kind of a Broken Bird—but this overlaps with Jerkass Woobie rather often as her Lana persona is portrayed in many songs either in deep denial, evil or also contribute to the toxic relationship.
  • Stylistic Suck: The kitschy comic book-esque cover for Norman Fucking Rockwell.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The piano riff in “Diet Mountain Dew” sounds very similar to the piano riff in Nas’ “If I Ruled The World”.
    • “Methamphetamines” sounds identical to Nino Rota’s theme for the 1968 cinematic adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, in terms of chord progression.
    • Rota is credited in part, however, with the production of “Old Money”—the successor to “Methamphetamines” that was put on Ultraviolence. Lana was supposedly unaware of the instrumental’s origin before wanting to put the song out, which is what prevents this example from being a good ol’ case of Sampling.
  • True Art Is Angsty: Her persona thrived on this during the Born to Die and Ultraviolence eras.
  • Vindicated by History: This Vox article goes into more detail about it. Lana Del Ray's obviously manufactured public image didn't win over a lot of critics at the time, and "Video Games" seemed opportunistic coming on the heels of Adele doing a similar stripped-back sound to more notoriety. And yet, as standards of pop music have mutated over the course of the 2010s in a post-Lorde, post-"poptimism" landscape, the backlash is now a distant memory as Lana now has a diehard fanbase and critical respect for all this calculation. On a more musical basis, it could easily be argued that Lana may have, at least in part, paved the way for Lorde (not to mention Billie Eilish).
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Some of Lana’s webcam demos sound pretty strung-out, thanks to drunken-sounding vocals and/or sloppy editing.
    • As far as produced tracks go, “Catch & Release”, “Come When You Call Me A.M.E.R.I.C.A.”, “Maha Maha” and “Strange Love” are rather trippy.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Her collaboration with Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande in the song and video for "Don't Call Me Angel" got this reaction from some of the fanbase, although it is generally agreed that her bridge is considered to be the best part of the song.
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