Lana Del Rey – “Blue Jeans” video

Guess what?  Lana Del Rey has quite the backstory which is missing from her press releases… Née Elizabeth Grant, she released a 3-track EP titled Kill Kill in 2009 under the name Lizzy Grant, and also created an album called Nevada that was either put out and subsequently withdrawn (How does that happen?!) or never released to the public.  The songs from Lana’s EP and album, however, have found their way to YouTube…

All this obfuscation and name-changing, plus Lana’s meteoric rise to fame based on her “Video Games” video, has led some to criticize Lana as being “manufactured” to fit a particular entertainment mold, but she does have an undeniable presence vocally, stylistically, and visually.

Elizabeth Grant has revamped (or ramped up) her neo-retro image as ‘Lana Del Rey’, with songs to match, including “Blue Jeans”.  The self-described “gansta Nancy Sinatra” showcases both her hip-hop vibe and her old-time songstress side on “Blue Jeans”.  Lana’s lower register, lyrics-heavy, rhythmic verses are underscored by exclaimed vocals in the background, giving the song a stop-start tempo, while the chorus sections sweep romantically upwards on Lana’s lighter, but more emotive vocals.

Slangy phrases like “You’re so fresh to death” collide with sentimental lyrics like “I will love you ‘til the end of time” as Lana relates the story of a love ‘n’ loss relationship that is both personal and universal (“You fit me better / than my favorite sweater.”).  The video itself, with close to 3 million views on YouTube, plays like a fast-paced rehash of “Video Games”, with certain motifs reappearing like blooming flowers, American flags, and the bright lights of casino façades.  Even the Chateau Marmont sign returns for an encore.  Added to this mix are grittier images of city streets, police, and a split second of 2Pac, grounding the video in the less glitzy side of everyday life.

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