Lana Del Rey: A Fine Line Between Serious and Boring
Where Del Rey and so many others seem to trip up in writing serious, artistic material is that they spend too much time fussing over how serious and artistic they are and lose all sense of fun and wonder in their music. They forget that pop music, even serious pop music, is ultimately a "for fun" genre.
Rock musicians do it, too, though. All it takes is for an aging punk to decide he needs to make grown-up music, and suddenly you start hearing boring, asinine folk songs in the name of securing artistic credibility.
Eddie Vedder's ukulele fetish may be the most egregious example of this. Pearl Jam can still kick out the jams, but my God, I'd be happy if I never had to hear Vedder warbling with his uke or even an acoustic guitar again.
Lana Del Rey's Ultraviolence ultimately has the same problem. In attempting a leap to artistic credibility, she stumbles over her lack of passion or intrigue for the material. The laconic deliveries and the lackluster instrumentation all reveal a distinct lack of interest. This is boring music for boring people made by a bored person.
Being serious doesn't have to mean being boring, it's just the unfortunate result of people trying to make a certain kind of music instead of making the music they truly feel. Eddie Vedder is a rocker, and Lana Del Rey is a pop star. They should make whatever the hell kind of music they want to, but they should also make music that pleases them. That is ultimately what will please an audience.
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS