For the last decade, Lana Del Rey has consistently put out stunning albums. Very few missteps, each album seemed to be an improvement over the previous. Her aesthetic was – and is – unwavering. Dedicated to a timeless cool imbued with fashion and nostalgia, she was both in vogue and hopelessly out of fashion. Not unlike another female icon – Nico, who did her own thing from the 60’s until her untimely death in the 80’s. There’s been many think pieces critiquing Lana’s every move – what she said, what she meant, who she was with. It never ends, it seems. All of this obscures the fact that the music she puts out is consistently great. 2021’s Chemtrails Over The Country Club might be her best album yet.
I recently finished Kim Gordon’s memoir detailing her time in Sonic Youth along with the intimate details of her breakup with husband (and fellow Sonic Youth member), Thurston Moore. I mostly enjoyed the book, but I had to laugh – she spent a few sentences bashing Lana Del Rey. It was puzzling to me, as Sonic Youth have championed the music of The Carpenters for over 30 years now. Take away the tragedy of Karen Carpenter, and you are left with brilliant pop music. The time spent bashing Lana Del Rey reeked of indie elitism which both amused and got under my skin a bit. Hell, Sonic Youth covered Madonna! In this day and age, who cares? Anyone can listen to anything at anytime. Music should be an all-inclusive family – no cool kid games. At least, that’s my outlook. As far as Lana Del Rey? I think she is brilliant, and her latest record is her strongest yet.
23 albums touched by the hand of God in 2012 – a non-numbered list of albums that I’ve played over and over that were released in 2012. Some of them were reviewed here on Jason’s Jukebox, some of them weren’t. All of them are worth your time and attention. The last look back at an amazing year of music. I’ll see you later this week with my 1st review of 2013.
In 1993 I was starting 11th grade in a suburban Philadelphia high school and as most kids are at that age – uncertain about a lot of things. As things tend to do for teenagers things always came back to music. This was a very strange time to be in high school – we had the emergence of grunge with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains. On the opposite side we also saw the rise of Dr. Dre, newly solo from the group N.W.A, his protegé Snoop Doggy Dogg, and gangsta rap. Honestly, I loved it all. There was also a strange pop-ish band out of Sweden evoking the spirit of Abba that went by the name of Ace of Base. I remember sitting in my behavioral science class with a friend who was a huge Pantera fan and we started talking about how many times we had heard the song “All That She Wants” on the radio that day. Strangely we both agreed – it was a pretty damn good song. What’s the correlation? Lana Del Rey is 2012’s version of Ace of Base – catchy as hell, a bit polarizing, and a lot of fun.