Friday, July 27, 2012

Lana Del Rey - Heart-Shaped Box

by Jay Allbritton
The prospect of the hated Lana Del Rey covering Nirvana sets up a negative knee jerk reaction. Del Rey, long considered by indie purists to be inauthentic, toying with the work of the sainted Kurt Cobain amounts to, as Stereogum's Tom Breihan puts it, "trolling the universe". One commenter on the post compared it Miley Cyrus's ill advised cover of "Smalls Like Teen Spirit".

I completely disagree with this lazy comparison. Del Rey pulls off a compelling take on a song that, coming from her, has a great deal of meaning. Breihan writes, "Given that all of LDR’s moves are painstakingly calculated and clearly all fame and its effects, this isn’t just a case of a singer singing a song she likes."

The song is unintentionally enhanced by the position of the phone filming Del Rey, which forces us to peek over the hedges to see her, as if she's literally the girl next door dreaming of being a famous singer and acting it out in her backyard. It's the innocent antithesis of pop fame.

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