Eyewear's Top Songs of 2012: #11 'Born To Die' by Lana Del Rey
No artist's long playing debut in 2012 was more anticipated, or instantly derided, than Ms. Del Rey's. The faux auteur slash bad girl singer-songwriter emerged fully grown from the fused pages of Kubrick's Lolita, and Lynch's Blue Velvet, as she was keen to tell us. She was as staged as the Monroe photo where she "reads" Ulysses. Lana's trope abuse was impressive - she wrung the last bit of blood from Jimmy Dean's broken body, basically speedballing Hollywood Babylon for the meme generation. As if deriving all her source material from Love and Death in The American Novel, she has continued to find links between the diseased poetics at the heart of an evil, carnal, eternal American Gothic sublime, and the bubblegum pink ecstasies of teen America: as if Minnie Mouse was a pornstar, or Sylvia Plath had slept with Howard Hughes under contract for his film company she combines the American DNA we all know and love, but usually keep separate - as such, she is the new airbrusher deluxe - that Hefner once was to middle America, so now is Lana. She excites and soothes at once - saying it is okay to love sex and death. Holier Thanatos, indeed. Born To Die the album is a strange, fruity masterwork - so camp it comes with its own lake. Many of its songs are flawed classics - both inert and clumsy, but also literary and artificial in a way that I welcome, as I welcome the poetry of David Trinidad. I have chosen 'Born To Die', finally, as the song to represent her, but half a dozen of hers would have done; though it lacks her sense of humour it does show her darker more portentous side.