OK, you don't like Lana Del Rey's new album; care to explain, you know, why?

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Here’s the data on how much I know about Lana Del Rey: she had a bad performance on Saturday Night Live (or so I’ve read) and the critics seem to hate her. Sure … critics, they hate everything don’t they? It’s not just critics though, because I read a few articles on her night at SNL and the reader commentary was absolutely vicious. But hey, this is the Internet age, when the virtual pile-on is just so easy.

But then I read this Salon.com post about how she’s more famous for her failed performance attempt than her music. This is undoubtedly true, as Born To Die was only released last week. What really bugs me about the coverage — and this is especially true of this Salon piece — is that it’s lacking in details about the music itself.

As I’ve pointed out before, often disappointed at the state of music writing. Beyond whatever agenda an author may have (such as hating a particular genre/artist while continuing to churn out “reviews”), the texts can be chock full of all manner of linguistic gymnastics — and yet somehow managing to never actually get at what the music sounds like.

This is certainly the case with Stephen Deusner’s article. Eleven paragraphs and not a single word about the music. Instead, we get musings on lyrics, image, and celebrity. And then there’s this little gem, in response to a “National Anthem” fragment:

Is this a Swiftian satire of pop culture in the “Real Housewives” era, or is Del Rey actually embracing a Randian view of existential capitalism?

… You have got to be kidding me! The article expends an awful lot of words in the process of shedding almost no light on “Born To Die.” It is yet another example of the current sorry state of pop-culture journalism.

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
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