Del Rey leaves listeners lost in paradise

The self-proclaimed “gangsta Nancy Sinatra” releases the follow- up to her debut album, her much-anticipated EP “Paradise,” just in time for the holiday season.

With the EP’s nine tracks, “Paradise” is what you would expect from the 26-year-old singer, who shot to fame via YouTube videos.

Though I never heard Del Rey’s debut album in full, her singles, such as “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans” offer an eerie sense of what type of musician Del Rey is and strives to be. It takes a lot of guts to call yourself the “Nancy Sinatra” of our generation.

Born and raised in New York, Del Rey suffered through a tough childhood and found solace in music.

Citing Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Janis Joplin as some of her inspirations, Del Rey wanted to create music that was reminiscent of ’50s and ’60s Americana.

“Paradise” includes direct references to pop culture icons, such as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe in “Body Electric” and Bruce Springsteen in “American.”

The top three tracks to check out on “Paradise” are “Ride,” “Gods & Monsters” and its closing song, “Burning Desire.”

“Ride” references Del Rey’s dark days as an adolescent, regarding her alcohol abuse, parental problems and depression.

“I don’t really wanna know what’s good for me,” Del Rey sings in “Gods & Monsters,” which may also parallel the criticism she has received since she’s been under the spotlight.

What’s intriguing about Del Rey is her ability to be a breath of fresh air for the music industry. Her voice is unique and distinguished, which allows listeners to emotionally connect to her lyrics, as well as the cinematic sound she has embodied.

With lyrical content regarding Americana, love and lust, loneliness, and suffering, Del Rey’s “Paradise” creates an atmosphere for listeners to get swept away due to her deep, sultry soulful voice. In other words, listeners will find themselves ‘lost in paradise’ and enchanted by Del Rey’s refreshing sound that the indie/pop industry is now lacking.

While “Paradise” contains some explicit content, it’s worth a listen. Del Rey takes some risks on her follow-up to “Born to Die,” and though it’s not an extreme departure from the latter, her musical experimentations are certainly appreciated.

Tune into KSLC 90.3 FM to hear Lana Del Rey: “Paradise.” You can also listen online at www.linfield.edu/kslcfm or stream the station on iTunes.

Vanessa So

Assistant Music Director

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