Lana Del Ray and her "Video Games" may be manufactured, but do we really care? - Reverb

Pop & Circumstance: Lana Del Rey’s La La Land

Lana Del Rey: real or fake? Does it matter? Photo courtesy of the artist's Facebook.

Lana Del Rey: real or fake? Does it matter? Photo courtesy of the artist's Facebook.

Maybe she didn’t want her name to sound so generic like “Katy Perry.” And who can blame her? The transformation from 2009′s “Lizzy Grant” to 2011′s “Lana Del Rey” may have been tested, calculated and executed by a team of managers trying to make this girl happen already, but who hasn’t tried and failed only to later try and succeed? Is Del Rey the first pop star to reinvent her look in order to “fall” into fame? Get real.

Remember when Lady Gaga hit radio waves with “Just Dance?” She was blonde and rocked bangs and that simple “how did she do it?” hair bow. Remember when Katy Perry had a natural hair color instead of varying shades of the rainbow? So Del Rey went from platinum to auburn, straight locks to luscious waves. The most important variable to her commercial success has remained the same: her voice. All the blog hype just happened a little later than she expected, that’s all.

As “Brononymous” commented on Hipsterrunoff’s “expose” on Del Rey: “I don’t know what to believe anymore. What is authentic? Has anything ever really been authentic?” Even Taylor Swift, with her down-to-earth, everyone-can-relate-to-me, my-heart-is-constantly-broken deal, has leaned toward inauthentic as her fame has skyrocketed. Pop stars can only stick to their good intentions for so long.

“Video Games” is as mesmerizing as Del Rey’s (supposedly) cosmetically enhanced lips. Big, embellished, and sultry as all-get-out. Her voice has the same sound of classic mid-century female singers with a hint of 1990s chick-rock angst, which, when juxtaposed with lyrics like “Open up a beer/And you say get over here/And play a video game,” makes Del Rey sound downright futuristic. It may not be a hip-hop beat, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything anymore in the realm of Top 40. Have you heard of that British girl, Adele? As “hip” becomes “mainstream,” the term “pop star” is beginning to have a whole new meaning.

Del Rey’s videos have the same theme that enhances the old-timey feel of her songs: sweet, pure, and a simple shot of nostalgia. “Video Games,” “Blue Jeans” and “Kill Kill” (released under “Lizzy Grant”) are matched up with dialogue clips, retro hair, motorcycles, fast food joints, cartoons and snippets of film noir.

I have to be honest — I don’t care if Del Rey was “manufactured” or “invented” in order to make the big bucks. I could watch “Video Games” all damn day. Who else has a (girl) boner?

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Allison Berger is a Philadelphia-based writer and a pop music columnist for Reverb. Follow her on Twitter and check out more of her writing here.

  • dude from chicago

    The argument amongst “indie” media outlets is not if she is manufactured. She is manufactured no question. The argument is about if “indie” music and culture are supposed to be above fabricated notions of beauty. This article entirely misses the point.

  • Unimpressed

    Hot chick, pretty cool video, boring song

  • Guestemailandstuff

    I have a giant girl boner. Thank you for not caring bout the drama!

  • stina

    Lana de Rey also performed on the MTV Unplugged Concert of the briliant Swedish band Mando Diao one of their songs: Chet Baker. If you want, please have a look to following clip:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVFxf6P_hc0

    Lana del rey is worth attention for sure,