Lana Del Rey isn’t going away, and I’m really happy about that. In fact, she’s roaring back with a vengeance. Her album, Ultraviolence, is number one on the Billboard 200 chart. And she’s breaking all kinds of records. From Billboard:
Singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey captures her first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, as “Ultraviolence” bows atop the list. The album, which was released June 17, sold 182,000 in the week ending June 22, according to Nielsen SoundScan — her best sales week yet.
Del Rey’s arrival is the largest sales week for a female artist since the week ending Dec. 29, 2013, when Beyonce‘s self-titled album sold 310,000 in its third week on the chart.
[...] Notably, “Ultraviolence” captures the No. 1 slot even though Del Rey hasn’t performed on American TV in more than two years.
She has her share of controversy; most recently her comments on Twitter about wanting to die irritated Frances Bean Cobain. She’s since defended her comments, tweeting, “I liked (Kurt) because he was talented not because he died young.”
What do you think of the album? Give it a listen:
June 28, 2014 at 2:00 pm by Catherine St. Ives
A lot of people probably expected Frances Bean Cobain, the daughter of Courtney Love and the late Kurt Cobain, to end up fucked up like her parents. Surprisingly, that hasn’t happened, and she seems to have a pretty good head on her shoulders and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Case in point? She’s sorta sick of Lana Del Rey’s melodramatic bullshit about wanting to be dead and thinks she needs to take a serious dose of STFU with all this “I wish I was dead” crap she’s been spewing lately and her obsession with death throughout her music.
I mean, obviously Frances is going to react to shit like this more given what she’s gone through in her life. That being said, I agree with her. There seems to be this whole hipster movement over the past five years or so in which it seems dreamy and artistic to be morbidly obsessed with death and oblivion and to use that obsession to sorta drift out into the ether and be an asshole. It’s corny as shit, and Lana Del Rey is queen of that movement.
Frances Bean Cobain is totally underrated, I gotta say. I love the fact that someone who could be getting a shit ton of press by virtue of who she is just shuns that and lives her life like a normal human being. Love her… and those fierce eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 at 6:00 am by Jennifer
Lana Del Rey is kinda nuts, to the point where people are wondering if this whole thing is not just Elizabeth Grant (her real name) playing a character called Lana Del Rey. Not so, says Lana – she’s who she’s meant to be and she doesn’t do anything with anyone else in mind.
Not everybody has thought it’s a good idea to have lines like “He hit me and it felt a kiss.”
Definitely. But that’s been the theme of my career. The thing about me is, coming from an alternative music background and singing for nine years, being basically invisible, I’m so used to writing for myself — and at the end of the day, I do it because I feel like I have to. So when I’m recording or writing, I don’t have other people in mind. It’s not always comfortable for me, but I don’t not say what I want to.
Is Lana Del Rey a character played by Elizabeth Grant?
No. Lana Del Rey is exactly who she’s supposed to be: Free enough to be her own person, and that’s exactly who I am. I’m not like a persona. I’m not a caricature of myself.
She spends time in the interview discussing her thoughts on “surrendering” to men, as well (it’s an idea she’s “not uncomfortable” with), which is interesting but seems a bit like bullshit to me.
I don’t know – I listened to Ultraviolence… or shall I say, I tried to listen to Ultraviolence and then nearly fell asleep by the end of the first song. It’s all just TOO maudlin for me, too over-the-top. I could tolerate the first album and even liked a lot of it, but I’ve heard enough about California, booze, pick-up trucks, lipstick and blue jeans to last me a lifetime. Is it a grower?
June 22, 2014 at 11:00 am by Jennifer
Lana Del Rey is a bona fide weirdo. We’re all on the same page about that, right? She was a wannabe popstar who turned moody chanteuse who sings only about pickup trucks, California, excessive drinking and blue jeans… and we love her for it. However, her reticence to discuss actual life issues – especially ones that effect her as a woman and, you know, every other woman in the world, seems kind of bizarre and confusing to me. According to Lana, however, she doesn’t want to talk about things like feminism because she’s not the person to ask.
From The New York Times:
“For me, a true feminist is someone who is a woman who does exactly what she wants,” she said. “If my choice is to, I don’t know, be with a lot of men, or if I enjoy a really physical relationship, I don’t think that’s necessarily being anti-feminist. For me the argument of feminism never really should have come into the picture. Because I don’t know too much about the history of feminism, and so I’m not really a relevant person to bring into the conversation. Everything I was writing was so autobiographical, it could really only be a personal analysis.”
I mean, I sort of get that. At the end of the day, she’s not an academic or a policymaker or anyone else who SHOULD be held accountable. However, she is a woman and a human being, so she’s 100% relevant. Anyone who’s living and breathing and walking on this earth is relevant, particularly women.
You might also be (not) surprised to learn that Lana really wants to die because she thinks it’ll be a “relief”:
She has also been denounced for video clips that culminate in her death: by drowning, by falling, by choking. The video for “Born To Die” ends with her in a boyfriend’s arms, inert and covered in blood. She agrees that her videos have often been “exploring ways to die,” she said, adding: “I love the idea that it’ll all be over. It’s just a relief, really. I’m scared to die, but I want to die.” The title song of “Ultraviolence” ventures into precarious territory. In an arrangement that melds Baroque dirge and wah-wah guitar, the singer describes herself as “filled with poison but blessed with beauty and rage,” and goes on to quote a fraught 1962 song from the Crystals, “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss).”
I don’t think I’ll ever understand Lana Del Rey… and maybe that’s the point.
June 13, 2014 at 10:00 am by Jennifer
You’d think Lana Del Rey could have made some serious bank performing at Kim Kardashian and Kanye West‘s wedding last weekend, but you’d be wrong. In fact, Kimye offered to pay her exactly nothing and she was expected to be grateful for it. Oddly enough… she kinda was.
TMZ caught up with her to ask her how much it would cost them to have her sing at the cameraman’s wedding, and her answer was pretty hilarious:
In case you can’t watch that, Lana says that she’d do the camera guy’s wedding for free, just like she did Kim and Kanye’s. She adds that she’d never let a friend pay her to perform at their wedding. Wow, they really have her brainwashed, eh? She actually thinks they’re her friends? Lord almighty.
May 29, 2014 at 6:00 pm by Jennifer
Lana Del Rey has a new album coming out soon called Ultraviolence, and we’ve been hearing snippets of it for a while now. We’ve got another taste of what’s to come in the new song ‘Shades of Cool’, which you can listen to below.
It’s a song about a dude who lives in California, drives a Chevy Malibu and has an “unbreakable heart”. So, you know, standard Lana Del Rey fare. Hey, I guess she knows how to stick to a formula?
To be honest, I’m not feeling the new Lana stuff that I’ve heard so far, which is a shame. But ah well – she’s got plenty of other bigtime fans, so I doubt she’ll miss me.