Music's Best Fashion Moments of 2011

blog comments powered by Disqus

Lana Del Rey Pairs Glamour and Pain

In 2011, Lana Del Rey escalated from little-known, previously shelved artist to YouTube sensation to major pop cultural meme. Why? Well, there are her sweetly sinister torch songs – only two official singles so far, "Video Games" and "Born to Die" – but they're worth remembering since you won't be escaping them any time soon. More potently, their videos manage to delight and repel viewers equally. Again, why? Del Rey is a mystery, and perhaps engineered to confound, and that bothers people who like their pop stars to assure us they are utterly self-aware.  "Authenticity" qualms as an artist aside, audiences find her strangely alluring: attractive but "off,"discomfiting in the much-cited Lynchean sense, sexy but sad, and totally unlike anyone else preening in pop right now. Like Cults and Cat's Eyes, she reflects a continual urge to re-explore the smoldering tear-strewn ballads and tragedy hymns of the 1950s and 1960s, but her approach is more postmodern: more than any L.A. Noir siren, she resembles the 1990s Lost Lolita obsession à la Fiona Apple or American Beauty's Angela Hayes. Ironically, Del Rey may reflect the 1990s revival better than anyone else.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.