Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Review: Lana Del Rey, 'Born To Die'

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  • Lilith __, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    Thanks, Jackie. You might also like Josh Ritter?

    or Andrew Bird?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3468 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I find myself barely able to remember the tunes

    That's easy - born a copyer.. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Sacha,

    born a copyer

    Hey, Metropolis didn’t have a cute cat! :-)

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3468 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Lest I'm being too subtle (and I do admire her pop mastery, don't get me wrong).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Sacha,

    I'm being too subtle

    Oh, I get it. ;-) Good point. Both terrible songs though, IMHO!

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3468 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Lilith __,

    Lilith – love that Andrew Bird. One of my favourite singer/songwriters is called Sam Sallon. I encountered him years ago on myspace. He’s just beautiful. There’s 3 songs I have of his – which he kindly sent to me on a CD. I’ve tried to find them on youtube, but none are there. So I will share it via soundcloud.

    http://soundcloud.com/hakiclark/21-keep-moving-sam-sallon

    http://soundcloud.com/hakiclark/19-give-sam-sallon


    And go out and buy his new album which is out this year..........

    http://samsallon.com/

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Liz Phair on Lana del Rey:

    ” it was more than a collection of songs or a performance, it was a phenomenon. Maybe all the more so because she’s not overwhelmingly talented. The minute I hear the whisperings of “how dare she,” I’m interested. I don’t have to like it, it doesn’t have to be worthy.
    […]
    ” I just want to hear the true voices of women self-expressing–smart ones, stupid ones, ugly ones, beautiful ones, good ones, bad ones, fat ones, thin ones, all of it–until the profound silence that has resounded throughout history is filled with a healthy chorus coming from our side of the aisle.”

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3468 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    Lilith – love that Andrew Bird. One of my favourite singer/songwriters is called Sam Sallon.

    Oh, awesome, thank you. I will seek out his album!

    Re: Andrew Bird: I’ve played Noble beast such a lot, it’s a great album.

    You might also like Sean Hayes, if you don’t know him already:

    Edit: after all these blokes, here is a wonderful folksy lady:

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3468 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lilith __,

    Liz Phair on Lana del Rey

    That's a great little blog post right there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lilith __,

    filled with a healthy chorus coming from our side of the aisle

    Wise. All I want for many missing voices.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Scott A,

    Well, having checked the album out, I'm going with the more pervasive internet commentariat - apart from the singles, it's a bit rubbish, really.

    The lyrics, in particular, become particularly twee after a while.

    The wilds of Kingston, We… • Since May 2009 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    People bitched about Liz Phair not being able to sing, too. (This makes me want to hop around immaturely flipping them off and waving about a copy of Exile in Guyville.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Danielle,

    People bitched about Liz Phair not being able to sing, too

    Really? Liked her stuff when it came out, but then I probably wasn't reading music press much.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    This track surfaced for the first time late last year.

    Surf's Up (piano demo, Autumn 1967 version),

    "by Brian Wilson at his home during sessions for The Beach Boys' WILD HONEY album, probably in November 1967".

    (Not quite as great as the more widely-known October '66 take (ie SMiLE demo), IMO; still amazing, tho.
    A similar approach but with some differences, most notably the "dove-nested towers" section.) #fuckmikelove

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    a thread with the right copy...
    Nice to note that Rob Mayes has picked up some work with Ridley Scott...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5060 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Lana Del Rey it is Ok

    Without wanting to cause offence for what it worth - which isn’t much - my subjective opinion - Derivative of what? I hear elements of lots of things Tori Amos, Shakespeare’s Sister (the Siobhan Fahey half and not the Marcella Detroit bits), the Verve, 1990s Madonna, – I find the music of Del Ray and its projection to sit in the category of laments and dirges suitable for performance at a funeral where the focus is on the loss and over whelming sense of mourning rather than the joy of a life lived. But then I am not her target demographic.

    I don’t see her vocal delivery or the production of the “music” as original and as the foundation for that is the song – I don’t find the music or the lyrics that original, and read to me like a cut and paste of well worn cliches, the strings and harp overlay are over done to my minds ear. The plodding chords sequences in the Song Video Game repeat that F#m A thing several times and then goes to C#m D thing too much.

    To my ear the whole thang labours under the weight of its own mediocracy and goes nowhere. It does have lots of elements of parts of things but seems incomplete in itself to my minds ear.

    I listem to music for the the pleasure of it, my addiction, and the ability it has to uplift me in the emotional sense – what I have listened to of Lana Del Rey it is Ok – but Ok doesn’t cut it – I can’t hear any beauty in it.

    Looking at expression in art a poet of note will “sweat” just as much about what is taken out and what is left on the page. There are a lot of musicians and songs that do a lot better with a lot less. Here is an example and what I regard as one of the best songs ever written:

    Though not making a direct comparison Anchor is fluid though the production is dated – it does more with less, Video Games gives me the vision of someone plodding up and dwon stair with gumboots full of slop.

    There are enough elements in the music – she will do better next time I thinks – presently it is a triumph of marketing – but if people dig it and she does well and grows then all power to her – LDR is not my bag.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1199 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood, in reply to Danielle,

    People bitched about Liz Phair not being able to sing, too. (This makes me want to hop around immaturely flipping them off and waving about a copy of Exile in Guyville.)

    True, although my problem wasn't so much that she couldn't sing rather than after her first record, she didn't really write much worth a damn. Then again, I wasn't really much into her in the first place, and her dreadful self-titled record was one of the more brazenly unsuccesful attempts at "crossing over" I've had the displeasure to review. Much more of a PJ Harvey man myself- although they're not really comparable other than the fact that they're women rock stars who ame to prominence in the early 90s (although PJ Harvey's still going strong, her most recent record Let England Shake being the best thing she's done in more than a decade). But I digress.

    Going back to the Lana Del Rey record, thanks for the extra links, RB. Initial impressions suggest that their very strengths- their wilfully electic nature, the big, sweeping qality, Del Rey's blankly alluring vocals- are paradoxically, also its weaknesses. I mean, it's so removed- particularly something like "National Anthem" and "Radio". The very qualities that capture my attention give me pause for thought as to whether I would stick with them after a few more listens. Lyrically, she seems to have one trick- although it's a very good one, to be fair.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 443 posts Report Reply

  • Dean Papa,

    Lana Del Rey is okay, her main problem is in being overhyped. Now here's a great song from the Mutton Birds, their best, IMO.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2011 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Stumbled across another Lana performance on Letterman last night. Better, but still basic issues with breathing and controlling her voice. Maybe we're best thinking of her as a group rather than an individual who seems to struggle alone?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP, in reply to Sacha,

    Stumbled across another Lana performance on Letterman last night.

    SNL decided to cash in on the car crash.
    It would have been better all round if she'd done this herself. But then she'd just get compared to Sarah Palin.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2144 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I fear for Lana and her upcoming obscurity, I mean she didn't expose any body parts at the rugby sevens how the hell can she expect to remain famous?

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4896 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    Going back to the Lana Del Rey record, thanks for the extra links, RB. Initial impressions suggest that their very strengths- their wilfully electic nature, the big, sweeping qality, Del Rey's blankly alluring vocals- are paradoxically, also its weaknesses. I mean, it's so removed- particularly something like "National Anthem" and "Radio". The very qualities that capture my attention give me pause for thought as to whether I would stick with them after a few more listens.

    Oooh, you are insightful!

    I think you've touched on why so many serious reviewers are having trouble with the record; they're expecting it to be something it's not. I'm more inclined to hear it as a series of grand pop productions that I won't be listening to for ever. I think you've nailed it in observing that its strengths are also its weaknesses.

    I did like Andrew Tidball's review on Cheese on Toast:

    Let us not forget, though, that the very reason why I am sitting here writing about this record is because, sometime last year, one of the most heart-breaking and fragile moments in song was warmly coo-d to us and we all wanted to believe some unlikely back-story that this beautiful girl with an equally beautiful voice was using her real name and we had just happened, by good fortune, to come across her ourselves. Suckers.

    But – listening to Video Games for something like the 100th time; Del Rey sounds just as poignant, her voice as enchanting; beguiling and wonderfully disconnected, her lyrics just as pointed and frank as that time I got chills the first time I heard it. I don’t care what anyone says – you can’t undo that. Second single Blue Jeans, with those ever-so-sexily breathed vocals is, too, still a fantastic song. Both numbers smartly sonically reference pop songs that exist in our collective memories and in so doing can’t help but be hits. We’re being tricked. Yep. But, y’know what – we have a long, long, long tradition of enjoying illusions. Elizabeth Grant is, essentially an actor playing this role. Get over it. You know movies aren’t actually real, aye?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    I fear for Lana and her upcoming obscurity, I mean she didn't expose any body parts at the rugby sevens how the hell can she expect to remain famous?

    I hadn't realised that Tivo could gather information at that level on what happens in the set-top. That's...a little unnerving.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2163 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to nzlemming,

    I hadn't realised that Tivo could gather information

    That made me glad I don't have one, that's for sure.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4896 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Cruise control...

    Yep. But, y’know what – we have a long, long, long tradition of enjoying illusions. Elizabeth Grant is, essentially an actor playing this role. Get over it. You know movies aren’t actually real, aye?

    I can't help but see and hear a female version of Jace Everett's True Blood theme and a Badalamenti/Lynch-like influence as well... Kinda like a gender switched Roy Orbison or Chris Isaak ...
    maybe I'm reaching too far...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=AIpkMg9sh6Q

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5060 posts Report Reply

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