Lana Del Rey is a successful pop singer with a carefully crafted persona who sings about The Way We Live Now. For reasons no one is quite clear on, music writers find the idea of a pop singer with a carefully crafted persona novel and interesting and enjoy writing pieces that attempt to explain what her carefully crafted persona and songs about The Way We Live Now tell us about The Way We Live Now. We have ranked some of these pieces below by how much someone who is not a music writer might want to read them.
1) Flavorwire, "Flowchart: So You Wanna Write A Lana Del Rey Thinkpiece..."
Here's a handy flowchart to pair you up with the right angle for your inevitable Lana thinkpiece.
2) Stereogum, "Premature Evaluation: Lana Del Rey Ultraviolence"
Inauthenticity was a a massively important part of her entire project, one of the engines that gave her entire persona its force.... Lana Del Rey is a construction.
Pop music is clichéd—inherently, even—but Lana Del Rey is clichéd in a new way... We're so familiar with ourselves that Del Rey's kind of portraits can breed contempt, especially since they're less than wholesome, and moreover especially because they're unwholesome portrayals of female behavior. And in a culture that endlessly gazes at itself, sometimes she feels more like a symptom than an auteur.
t-4) Fader, "Lana Del Rey Is Anyone She Wants To Be"
Some criticize the way she seems to idealize powerlessness and servitude, while others appreciate her fluid embodiment of different identities, as well as her candor about both her desire and her weakness.
The New York Times, "Finding Her Future Looking To The Past"
Her songs and video clips demurely step into cultural minefields, exploring eroticism, mortality, power, submission, glamour, faith, pop-culture iconography and the meaning(s) of the American dream.
The Guardian, "Lana Del Rey: 'I Wish I Was Dead Already'"
So serene is the setting, in fact, that it takes me by surprise when Del Rey begins to tell me how unhappy she is: that she doesn't enjoy being a pop star, that she feels constantly targeted by critics, that she doesn't want to be alive at all... Tim Jonze's trip to New Orleans was paid for by Polydor
7) Pitchfork, "Pretty When You Cry"
In the eight long years since lonelygirl15 catfished millions of people, "feminine sadness" has developed into a full-fledged internet phenomenon... The aesthetic is at once purposefully campy and disarmingly earnest; artifice and vulnerability bleed together until you can't tell the two apart. The quintessential example is perhaps one of my favorite Twitter accounts...
8) Flavorwire, "Lana Del Rey Is The Urban Outfitters of Music"
Until she produces her own original images, Lana Del Rey will remain a pop star for the Tumblr generation, for the girls who — season in and season out — look to Urban Outfitters to tell them who to be.
9) Grantland, "The United States of Lana"
She is the thing and also not the thing. Del Rey exists at the nexus between life and death, "real" and "fake," modern and retro, smart and dumb, earnestness and irony, good and bad taste, aggression and submission, power and powerlessness, "stay away" and "come closer"...
Overall, Metacritic gives it an average score of 76, or "generally favorable"...