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Lana Del Rey’s greatest songs – ranked! | Lana Del Rey

20. Summertime Unhappiness (2012)

Apparently impressed by the suicide of a good friend and remixed by Cedric Gervais into that rarest of issues – a party-starting Lana Del Rey banger – Summertime Unhappiness was a hook-laden spotlight of her second album Born to Die, later turning into a key textual content within the #prettywhenyoucry “unhappy woman” aesthetic Del Rey inadvertently spawned.

19. Excessive By the Seashore (2015)

Excessive By the Seashore sounds excellent: shimmering organ, exhausted-sounding washes of synth, a entice rhythm that appears to have been sapped of all its swaggering machismo. It completely matches the tune’s temper of weariness, an early signal of its writer’s wariness about her movie star: “I can’t survive if that is all that’s actual.”

18. Blue Banisters (2021)

There was a time when Lana Del Rey singing about driving a tractor in Oklahoma would have appeared no extra seemingly than Lana Del Rey doing a canopy of the Hokey Cokey, however right here we’re. Even by her more moderen requirements, the music right here is minimal, which solely provides to the tune’s temper of creeping disquiet.

Lana Del Rey performing in New York in 2018.
Lana Del Rey performing in New York in 2018. {Photograph}: Stephanie Keith/Getty Pictures

17. Norman Fucking Rockwell (2019)

It’s arduous to not be cheered by the lyrics of Norman Fucking Rockwell: after umpteen songs through which she pledged timeless fealty to some appalling-sounding character, it affords the sound of Lana Del Rey telling considered one of them the place to get off in pleasingly direct phrases. Additionally: implausible refrain.

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16. Wild at Coronary heart (2021)

It was most likely solely a matter of time till Lana Del Rey named a tune after a David Lynch film – Lynch’s 80s collaborations with singer Julee Cruise have clearly been a serious affect from the beginning. Wild at Coronary heart is a putting, hazy imagining of a world with out Lana Del Rey in it: a fantasy of escape from movie star.

15. Terrence Loves You (2015)

Lana Del Rey’s favorite tune from Honeymoon, apparently as a result of it was “jazzy”. It’s jazzy within the sense {that a} torch tune is jazzy, however – past the parched, reverb-heavy guitars that recall Mazzy Star – the obvious affect is John Barry’s Theme From Midnight Cowboy, echoed within the beautiful descending vocal melody.

14. Lust for Life (ft the Weeknd) (2014)

Like Dory Previn’s Mary C Brown and the Hollywood Signal, Lust for Life is haunted by the 1932 suicide of failed actor Peg Entwhistle: just like the relentless pulsing synthesiser within the background, the allusions to it add a darkish undertow to what initially sound like bullish assertions of power from Del Rey and Abel Tesfaye: “We’re masters of our personal destiny.”

13. Hope is a Harmful Factor for a Girl Like Me to Have – However I Have It (2019)

A cynic would possibly counsel that, from its title to its lyrics (“24/7 Sylvia Plath”, “spilling my guts with the Bowery bums is the one love I’ve ever recognized”), this can be a tune that teeters on the verge of self-parody. However it’s arduous to be cynical whereas it’s taking part in – only a piano and voice, it’s the mannequin of stylish simplicity.

12. Nationwide Anthem (2012)

The peak of Lana Del Rey in Stepford-Spouse-as-pop-star mode, Nationwide Anthem pitches her clean vocal delivering satirical sex-and-materialism lyrics – “Cash is the rationale we exist, everyone is aware of it” – towards jarring musical euphoria: a skyscraping refrain, a string association with a touch of Bitter Candy Symphony about it.

Lana Del Rey at the 2016 Outside Lands Music and Arts festival in San Francisco in 2016.
Lana Del Rey on the 2016 Exterior Lands Music and Arts pageant in San Francisco in 2016. {Photograph}: C Flanigan/WireImage

11. Mariners House Advanced (2018)

With its song titles borrowed from Neil Young and its lyrical nods to Joni Mitchell, Norman Fucking Rockwell! is an album immersed in Laurel Canyon’s late 60s singer-songwriter scene, an inspiration that finds its fullest expression on Mariners House Advanced, a superbly sullen, icy replace of mentioned scene’s folk-based type.

10. West Coast (2014)

The primary proof of Ultraviolence’s sonic shift – aided by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys – into extra guitar-driven territory: the preliminary riff is equal components Blondie’s Atomic and the Beatles’ And I Love Her, the lyrics a tribute to a mythologised California, the sudden slowing of tempo that asserts the refrain is fabulous.

9. Black Bathing Go well with (2021)

Lana Del Rey’s lockdown tune, which captures one thing of the lockdown expertise by being impressively scattered. The lyrics leap with out warning from posturing (“Let me present you ways dangerous ladies do”) to tearily confessional (“I’m not associates with my mom”), the music from exquisitely managed – the tempo shifts within the refrain – to unravelled and chaotic.

8. White Gown (2021)

Lana Del Rey press photo
{Photograph}: PR

Tellingly, Lana Del Rey’s songs have gone from fetishising fame and success to craving for a life with out both. A distant non secular cousin of Joni Mitchell’s For Free – which she lined – White Gown breathily suggests she was happier as a waitress or unknown singer: sarcastically it’s set to the type of irresistible tune that despatched her Chemtrails Over the Nation Membership album to No 1.

7. Love (2017)

An ambiguous ode to youth: the lyrical message is be-young-be-foolish-be-happy however the tone of the vocal coolly detached, there’s one thing noticeably ominous concerning the music. How you’re taking it most likely will depend on how outdated you’re, however there’s no arguing with the ability of the tune, or the candy reference to the Seashore Boys’ troubled ballad Don’t Fear Child.

6. Experience (2012)

Launched within the aftermath Born to Die’s success – and appended to the album’s deluxe Paradise Version – Experience was produced by Rick Rubin and drenched in strings, however beneath them lurks a supremely stylish country-soul tune: for somebody whose vocal talents had been mocked early on, Del Rey’s octave-leaping efficiency is nervily highly effective.

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5. The Greatest (2019)

Shortly after the discharge of Norman Fucking Rockwell!, Lana Del Rey shared a canopy of Rolling Stone with Elton John. You may hear his affect on The Greatest, a gorgeously elegiac tune that would have made it on to Goodbye Yellow Brick Highway: its everything-is-screwed temper – “I need the whole lot to really feel prefer it used to” – nonetheless, is pure Trump-era America.

4. Brooklyn Child (2014)

Self-baiting autobiography, or bitchy hipster character assassination? It isn’t clear, and maybe it doesn’t matter: simply luxuriate in Brooklyn Child’s swooning melody, the stunning moments the place the beat drops out, leaving simply Del Rey, a trebly guitar and the buzzing of an amplifier. Lou Reed was meant to sing backing vocals, however died the day of the session.

3. Younger and Lovely (2013)

By a ways the very best factor on the star-studded soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann’s The Nice Gatsby, Younger and Lovely is Lana Del Rey at her most haunting. Co-opted by fairly than commissioned for the movie, its saga of fleeting youth and movie star matches its story completely, the melody is beautiful.

2. Venice Bitch (2018)

Practically 10 minutes lengthy, Venice Bitch hypnotises the listener for its total period. It shifts, subtly, from tender folks rock – replete with references to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Younger’s 1970 album Déjà Vu – to a heady swirl of synthesiser and guitar suggestions, to a chorus based mostly on Tommy James’s Crimson and Clover. It’s expansive, experimental and enveloping: a triumph.

1. Video Video games (2011)

With Lana Del Rey a continuing, influential presence in pop during the last decade, it’s simple to overlook how putting her first look was. She’s written umpteen implausible songs since, however Video Video games is the type of once-in-a-career tune that stops you lifeless in your tracks: the sluggish constructing strings, the funereal beat, the lyric’s unsettling mixture of romance and dread, the glassy-eyed vocal, the sense that it was totally in contrast to the rest taking place in pop on the time. As introductions to a brand new pop phenomenon go, it could be the very best of the previous 20 years: the passing of time has achieved nothing to dim its efficiency.

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