As soon as 25-year-old singer/songwriter Lana Del Ray‘s “Video Games” spread like herpes across the internet as “real music,” I was determined to pace my judgement.
Although I was bored to death and memorably unimpressed by her, I’ve been guilty of ignoring the hype surrounding an artist and consequently missing out on a great thing.
Either I enjoy flying against the grain or I just don’t like the initial songs that introduce me to the artist and it can take a year for me to board the bandwagon.
This was the case with Lana, the self-proclaimed ”gangsta Nancy Sinatra,” based on “Video Games.” The song seemed to only be labeled a “sultry hit” because it’s about a chick letting her man chill and play video games and of course, she’s hot.
She’s quite stunning and knows how to work a camera. Perhaps not so surprising, it took very little time for the daughter of domain investor and millionaire Rob Grant to be signed to Interscope.
Well Lana had her very last chance to change my mind with a Saturday Night Live performance that NPR‘s Marc Hirsh said would kill all of the controversies surrounding her wealthy upbringing, lack of credibility and her real name being Elizabeth Grant — as if she’s the first artist to ever use a stage name.
I won’t pretend to understand why people are upset about the latter, nor do I care. Marc also claimed that bloggers/haters would “become almost entirely irrelevant once Harry Potter introduces her tomorrow night on SNL.”
So how’d she do? If you enjoy watching drunk karaoke — she did great! It was also hard to miss the awkward swaying, the horrible wig and the lips that scream botox-abuse. Her performances were laughable, if not painful. I don’t care about her name or her affluent family; all she had to do was deliver. Even those who otherwise enjoy her music were horrified.
Viewers immediately took their frustrations to Twitter, including celebrities such as actress/singer Juliette Lewis who tweeted, “Wow this ‘singer’ on SNL is like watching a 12 year old in their bedroom when theyre pretending to sing and perform #signofourtimes.”
Does this determine whether or not she’ll be successful? Not necessarily. American pop music is filled with artists that bomb so badly during live performances that they are better off lip-syncing, e.g. Britney Spears.
Even after Florence + The Machine‘s lead vocalist shit all over our eardrums during Vh1 Divas last December, it didn’t change the minds of those who enjoy her band’s studio albums.
That will be where Lana Del Rey‘s upcoming debut will need to meet expectations of her fan base. For her “haters,” like myself, I’ll be hoping that she and any other pretty-faced, vocally-mediocre-at-best starlets stick with modeling. Watch her SNL performances below.