North of the 400

North of Toronto, South of a championship

Flashfact: Lana Del Ray, marked for death

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Ripping off one of my favorite Lester Bangs headlines only felt appropriate for this, and not only because it also riffed on the name of Del Rey’s album. 

In at least a few ways the cycle around Del Rey’s debut, which hasn’t been out very long but feels like it’s happened for months, is emblematic of music criticism right now as a whole: people rush to judge someone who’s almost designed to be quickly judged. A question like  “Is Lana Del Rey constructed by people to sell records?” isn’t what people should be asking. The question should be if it’s worth listening to, context removed. 

The short answer: it’s not bad, but it’s not great either:

Google her name for a novel about postmodern hype and public relations. Listen to her album to be lulled to sleep. Watch her videos on YouTube to look into a cold display counter at a seafood market. She is a lot of things, all of them so concurrent to now: perhaps manufactured and coldly indifferent on stage but oddly compelling and worth looking at, even if only to grasp what lessons there are here.

For the long answer, and some thoughts on why it doesn’t matter if she’s constructed to sell records,  click here to read the full post at


Written by M.

February 14, 2012 at 1:25 pm

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