There is a lot of venomous commentary online concerning Lana Del Rey. As a fellow upstate New Yorker & music-lover, I thought it was time for me to defend Lana.
Still relatively unheard of in the US (this will soon change, her NYC show sold out quickly) Lana Del Rey is currently making a huge splash in the UK. Her tickets are selling like hot potatoes and she is a recurrent name on the blogosphere (read our original post on Lana here) As fortunate and attractive as she may seem, Lana Del Rey is being viciously scrutinized as a “re-branded” and “inauthentic product” of “the industry.” The vast majority of people are not criticizing her songs, but her looks.
That fact that the music industry manually sculpts artists’ image is not news. Classic rockers like David Bowie engaged in flagrant image lunacy – but back then Bowie was free from the victimization of the 21st century cyber-microscope. The crux of the arguments against Lana is that her aesthetic “overpowers” her sound. But why are we overlooking something vital here: her music? Lizzy Grant is a gifted lyricist and an exceptional songstress. We cannot forget this.
Yes, the truth is unavoidable: before she was Lana Del Rey, Lizzy Grant was a thin-lipped blonde with an unsuccessful EP. She reemerged in 2011 with a “Lolita in the hood” style and a contract with Interscope Records.
The bottom line is this: Lizzy Grant invented Lana Del Rey with managers and lawyers. Why? Because she is a genuinely creative, talented woman who recognizes that we live in an age where imagery is vital to music-making. The invention of Lana Del Rey is, yes, purely an invention. But Lizzy Grant worked too hard for too many years (7, in fact) to let opportunity slip through her fingers.
I recognize that Lana is a divisive musician, but I sincerely beg those who are fiercely anti-Rey to redirect their rage. I can see where her success may seem an injustice, but like it or not, we have big pop potential on our hands. And I don’t think she’ll be leaving anytime soon.
We wouldn't have it any other way.
P.S. Check out our newer features on Lana! "Lana Del Rey vs. Hipster Snobbery"