Lana Del Rey: Born To Die [Universal]

The critical backlash against Lana Del Rey began even before her debut album Born To Die arrived.

Hipsters initially bewitched by the immediately beguiling Video Games felt betrayed when it became clear her puffy-lipped persona and – no! – even her name were invented. Much internet scorn was poured on the artist formerly known as Lizzie Grant.

Pretty ironic considering many hipsters’ daily posturing is utterly contrived. If you’re going to be appalled at musicians inventing a character to inhabit better not listen to any David Bowie – to name but one – then.

So, judging Born To Die purely on the music does it deliver the goods? Well, not quite. It’s a perfectly passable pop album – which means you’ve already heard the best songs here, namely Video Games and Born To Die. Although Blue Jeans comes closest to replicating Video Games smooth moves.

As for the rest, Diet Mountain Dew and Summertime Sadness are among the best while the nadir is Radio with Lana Del Rey dropping F-bombs all over the joint and sounding neither big or clever. It’s like listening to a posh person trying to be street. Excruciating.

In fact, any time she tries to rap it’s awful. National Anthem is almost unlistenable and lyrics like “God, you’re so handsome/take me to the Hamptons” hardly help her cause.

Ultimately though, most of Born To Die is inoffensive fare. It’s pleasant enough but it’s hard to escape the feeling Lana Del Rey is the Instagram of pop.

Sure, she’s this year’s model but unless she evolves quickly and develops a discernible personality beyond the pout everyone will have moved on to the next big thing by this time next year.

Perhaps David Bowie can provide some advice on how to face some ch-ch-changes?

earworms: Video Games, Born To Die, Blue Jeans