Happy Lana Del Rey Week! That’s right: Born to Die, Del Rey’s debut album (let’s just pretend that her previous work as Lizzy Grant doesn’t exist. She does!), officially drops tomorrow. Can you believe it’s finally here? We first mentioned her around these parts in October, and we didn’t think this day would ever arrive! While we’re sure you’ll have this new album on a loop, we’re not quite sure which stance you’ll take in the Great Lana Del Rey Debate. Is she a no-talent sex pot foisted upon us by evil record company magnates? Is she a talented singer-songwriter who’s just playing along with the marketing machine in order to make a living with her talents?
Whether you love her or hate her, you’ll probably get into an argument about Lana Del Rey this week. And since we’re all about providing great services, we’re pleased to share with you all of the talking points you’ll need for your Lana Delbate.
Con: She’s not authentic. Her name used to be Lizzy Grant! She pretends that she didn’t come from a wealthy background! Those lips! Those enormous fake lips!
Pro: Pop stars don’t have to be authentic. You know who else made up his own back-story? Bob Dylan! Hey, remember when The White Stripes claimed they were brother and sister? They were actually married! (Don’t let this derail you into discussing how creepy that still is.)
Con: She’s a terrible singer! Sure, the album version of those songs are layered with enough production to keep the dying-cat screeches of Del Rey’s attempts at purring at a relatively steady pitch, but did you see her on SNL? Woof!
Pro: She knows she’s not a good performer. She admitted in a recent interview that "you can’t expect much" from her performance style (or lack-thereof). At least she writes her own songs!
Con: She doesn’t write her own songs. Her album lists a bunch of other people (dudes, mostly) with songwriting credits, including the guy who wrote "Heaven Is a Place on Earth." And, yes, "heaven is a place on earth" is an actual line that shows up in one of his songs.
Pro: So what if she isn’t the sole writer of those songs? You know who else has a songwriting team? Beyoncé!
Con: But what about those lips? Please, we must discuss those lips.
Pro: Criticisms of her image are inherently misogynist. Why focus on what she looks like? Don’t all pop stars have to be pretty to get attention? Why doesn’t anyone remark about how male singers look? Besides, she’s playing a character, like Lady Gaga.
Con: Her character is covering-up her lack of talent. Sure, she writes some lyrics. But they’re lyrics like "Money is the reason we exist / Everybody know it, it’s a fact / kiss kiss."
Pro: But her persona is all camp! She’s doing it deliberately, taking elements of mid-century Americana and mixing them with contemporary sounds and themes. It’s not supposed to be taken seriously.
Con: Her version of "camp" is actually trolling. Come on, she has a song called "This Is What Makes Us Girls." Anyone who writes a title like that is making a broad, sweeping generalization solely for the attention.
And so on! So go ahead: pick a side. With great divisive arguments like abortion, religion, and Lana Del Rey, there is no such thing as a middle ground.