Saturday, September 21, 2013

If We're Gonna Talk About Music: Lana Del Rey/Lizzy Grant/May Jailer

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The first song I heard by Lana Del Rey was 'Video Games'. I heard it on RAGE and what really appealed to me was the melancholy in her deep voice. She had a very old-fashioned jazzy sounding voice and the video montage (that I later found out she had created) really added to the overall "feel" of the music. It took me a while to figure out who she actually was and when her album came out I purchased it having barely previewed another track online. 

I played the 'Born to Die' album non stop for weeks without getting sick of any tunes (though I have to admit 'Video Games' was probably getting a little tired). I ended up spending a lot of time on Youtube watching live performances and music videos. She was featured in an interview in a Vogue magazine which before reading I had feared would show her up to be something less than my expectations; here was a musician that I had listened to non-stop, that I had decided was a fashion icon and that I had memorized (some of) the lyrics of. I didn't want to be disappointed to find out that she was some shallow air-head that only did what she was told...

Instead I became even more impressed. Miss Del Rey not only sang beautifully, but she wrote the songs that she sang, she made the video montage in Video Games, she took her career into her own hands by releasing that music video, she read books (something I think highly of) and she used her rebellious teenage years as inspiration for her music without falling back into that pattern. I became so interested in her and her music that I bothered to do a bit of research. I discovered that she had numerous pseudonyms (May Jailer, Lizzy Grant and Lana Del Rey), but that her real name was actually Elizabeth. I also discovered many more unreleased songs that had somehow been leaked onto youtube which is why this post is not just about the music of Lana Del Rey, but her other names as well.

  1. As I said before, I really like the sound of her voice- Deep and velvety.
  2. I really like the old-fashioned feel in a lot of her songs. Different songs remind me of different artists. 
  3. I really like how her songs incorporate different genres of music into one. There are hints of rock, hip hop, jazz and sometimes I get that western movie vibe from some of the guitar (like in 'Blue Jeans')
  4. I really like that Lana can play the guitar. Even if she hasn't done this much publicly, I feel like singers who have an understanding of an instrument are more musical people than those who don't.
  5. I also adore the fact that each song on her album has a bit of a story to it. 
I like pretty much every song I have heard except for 'Cola' and 'Gods and Monsters'. The lyrics are just too odd. 

- I really really love 'Blue Jeans'. I love the guitar riff (I've even attempted to play it myself). I think the story line of the song is very 'Romeo & Juliet'.

-Another Favourite is 'National Anthem'. I never used to like this song when I first got the album, but it has grown on me overtime and now I really like it. I especially like the demo version that I heard on Youtube. I wish that she would release some of the demo versions officially.

-I also really like 'Million Dollar Man'. There's something so magnetic and melancholy about it.

-I really like 'Yayo' from her 'Paradise' CD

-'Children of The Bad Revolution', 'Never Let Me Go', 'Jimmy Gnecco' and 'On Our Way' are my favourite unreleased songs from Lizzy Grant.

-My favourite May Jailer songs are 'Aviation' and 'Out With a Bang'.

- I cannot get over the charm of Lana's homemade vintage montage that is the 'Video Games' music video. I thought it was really gutsy of her to make that and just upload it without asking for permission. It was a big gamble and if she hadn't managed to impress the record company that ended up signing her within 24 hrs of releasing the clip, she would have had a bit of trouble trying to pay legal fees over a copyright issue. 

-'Burning Desire' is one of my favourite music videos. I love the classic idea of a songstress in a nice gown performing with a mic on a stand. The video footage of cars and things being projected onto the stage is kind of pretty too. 

-While I don't like the idea of the girls jumping in the 'Summertime Sadness' video I do really like the lighting and the scenery. I don't appreciate the remix though. 

This post has been a long time coming so I hope it's decent.

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