Erin: I’m getting into the Lana Del Rey debate late, but her album “Born to Die” did just come out Tuesday. Which seems strange, since every critic on the planet already chewed her up and spit her out. For a while, hipsters were trying to one-up each other with witty ways to tell people she’s a fraud. 1. When did hipsters start caring about pop music? Or when did people expect pop music to be “authentic” and “good”? (Exhibit A: Ke$ha) 2. Many a pop star from Madonna to Lady Gaga has traded names and looks to be more popular. Many more have been “manufactured” by the industry. Why is this a big deal? I know Rey, 25, (nee Lizzy Grant) tanked on “Saturday Night Live” but I’m not afraid to say that I’m hypnotized by “Video Games” (see video above). And it doesn’t have a lot to do with Rey; it’s the words, which are kind of an anthem for being 20-something: Falling in love, drinking, making bad decisions. Maybe that’s why no one can shut up about the whole Rey image and vibe. Maybe it unearthed some truth: Most of us wish we could make millions for simply having a quarter life crisis … and playing video games. What do you think? Do I just like weird music?
Jess: Who’s Lana Del Ray? Just kidding. I read a review of her new album yesterday. I think the problem with loving indie/folk music is knowing that it’ll probably go mainstream one day. And when it does, the artist and the sound will probably change. See: Jewel. I really can’t keep up with how many times she’s changed her image/sound. I still have her CDs from the ’90s. Now I just get angry when I hear her on the radio.
Sarah: I saw Lana Del Ray’s performance on “Saturday Night Live” and wasn’t too impressed (read: I fast-forwarded through her songs on my DVR), but I didn’t realize it was widely criticized until a few days later — when, ironically, all the critics were mad at other critics for not being more critical. Ah, the media. But what I found more interesting as an article I read (in Time, I think) about how she’s on the same label as Lady Gaga and they’re giving her a persona that’s not really who she is. It seems a little strange at first, but plenty of musicians alter their names, from 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson) to Fred Astaire (Frederick Austerlitz). I think you become wise enough as a 20-something — and especially one immersed in the digital age — to be discerning of what’s true and false.
Stephanie:Lana Del Ray’s problem is not that she tanked on SNL, or that the critics love to hate on her. It’s that she’s young. She may have been a musician since her high school (Lizzy Grant) days, but thanks to You Tube, she was an instant sensation as Lana Del Ray. The catch is that she’s probably not ready, as a musician, to live up to the hype. The Internet holds the potential for fame to shine on almost anybody given the right timing and enough Twitter buzz. I will admit, I haven’t done much study of Lana Del Ray, but from what I’ve heard, she doesn’t seem to have much staying power. Not yet. If she improves as a musician, it could happen. But her SNL appearance shows me her self-confidence as a performer is holding her back.
Erin: I broke down and bought the CD. (Gotta love Target’s $7.99 new release prices! And yes, I still get excited to BUY albums.) You know what? The CD is a little uneven and at times Rey seems to be trying too hard to sound like Gwen Stefani. But there are still a handful of decent tracks, which, in this day and age, is a score for one CD.