(Image: Private Media)

Red (Taylor's Version). Taylor Swift. Republic Records; Blue Banisters. Lana Del Rey. Interscope/Polydor Records

Of the deluge of pop music of a certain type -- hitting the market just in time for Christmas -- Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift represent its opposite extremes.

Del Rey is a relative latecomer whose entire oeuvre is essentially an exercise in travelling backwards as she moves forwards, beginning as aspiring ingenue in early incarnations to some sort of woman-child-woman -- adult and infant all at once, her songs dissolving into spoken-word recitative. Swift is the teen-adult, writing songs at the age of 13 about being 15; she has, with the release of a 10-minute version of "All Too Well" that turns her original five-minute burn song into a Malibu firestorm, rerendered adulthood as perpetual adolescence.