This is not hate, I adore her and her music, I just like to explore her from all angles.
I have frequently spoken about how much I love Lana and everything she creates, but not everything is perfect. Following my ‘research’* on the matter, I have compiled my personal least favourite lyrics by Lana Del Rey:
1. “He used to call me DN – that stood for deadly nightshade” – Ultaviolence
This lyric, plus the line of how he used to call her “poison – like I was poison ivy” is a lyric that doesn’t entirely work for me, and leaves me wrinkling my nose wondering who the hell comes up with such a shit nickname. It evokes beautiful imagery, and she sings it prettily, but the idea that someone legitimately called her “DN” and “poison” just doesn’t work for me. Her clarification doesn’t sit well either (“that stood for deadly nightshade”). I’ll still dramatically sing along but at the back of my mind I’ll be thinking how crap Jim is at nicknames.
2. “Summertime is nice and hot, and my life is sweet like vanilla is” – Without You
It’s just an unsettling lyric in that it doesn’t sound right. Lana has had quite a few simple lyrics (which have been mentioned in the links above) but this one takes the cake with me. The bland description of summer – she could have used anything yet she chose “nice and hot” – and the weirdly jarring comparison of her sweet life to vanilla doesn’t settle right at all. Personally, I think she came up with the line “stolen images” and loved it so much she threw anything in as a rhyme.
3. “Give me a standing ovation” – National Anthem
It’s so weird. The way she stretched “ovation” to “ovaysheoo-on” to fit in with the timings is so strange to me. I love the song, I love her lyrics, but it just didn’t work right. It’s at the point where I can only sing it if I exaggerate it ridiculously like she does. I’m pretty sure, if I think hard enough, there would be a more fitting lyric to go in that section of the song rather than the destruction of the word “ovation”.
4. “Don’t fuck with me (you’re not a gangsta)” – Scarface
I love Lana, I love Lizzy, I love her musical experiments, but goodness me this song is a messy one. I still love it and like what she was going for – the badass, female version of Scarface (or part of his crew, I’m not even that sure really) – but it falls a bit flat with her cutesy voice and slightly cringe lyrics. It’s unpolished and unfinished, so it could have improved, but the repetition of “don’t fuck with me” and “you’re not a gangsta” is a little bit silly. I’m not exactly threatened by an adorable girl who likes to make music videos in her room with wigs. Who she is and her ‘persona’ in the song just doesn’t come together brilliantly.
5. “They’re disgusting, I’m delicious” – Delicious
This is one of those songs that makes me laugh every time I hear it. I like the verses, as they flow well and it’s got some seductive bad-girl charm, but the choruses, particularly the harshly sung “they’re DISGUSTING, I’m delicious” is so funny. Once again, she pushes to sound as badass as possible – which, in many songs, completely works – but in this one it falls flat. The word “disgusting” takes some of the sexiness away and whenever I hear it I feel a little less ‘in the moment’. It’s just too blunt and has too many connotations to keep you in the flow of the song.
6. “He loved guns and roses” – Guns n Roses
It’s simple – the phrase is repeated in a not exactly exciting style and it means nothing to me.
7. “Dope and diamonds/diamonds/that’s all that I want” – Money Power Glory
Much like Gucci Gang**, which consists of repetition of the phrase “Gucci gang”, it just doesn’t really have a point. Over and over she says she wants diamonds, dope and that’s all she wants, which leans away from the rest of the song into a weird word where she’s probably too tired to think straight. It’s just unimaginative, flat, and doesn’t have any depth to it.
8. “If you lie down with dogs then you’ll get fleas” – 24
Lana sings this with depth, heart and soul, yet it still makes me think “ew”. The glamorous 24 gets a little bit gross when you suddenly imagine a flea-ridden dog passing the creatures onto you – not something you want all over your silk dress. I know it’s a metaphor and it’s just a phrase, but it still makes me feel a bit grossed out at times, especially when she sings it so seriously.
9. “Educated in the language of doin’ it, get down like your tutor taught you to and do it” – Boarding School
I have issues with the lyrics of Boarding School anyway, but this one veers away from disturbing to silly. “Educated in the language of doin’ it” is one of the most laughable lyrics yet. It’s so vague that although I get what she’s trying to say in her edgy way, it’s just like when little kids can’t say the word sex and they collapse into giggles every time someone even mentions the phrase “doing it”. The unimaginative “do it”, which I suppose is meant to be the rhyme of “doin’ it”, does nothing for me. It’s just weak and doesn’t showcase her brilliant writing.
10. “ Drugs, suck it up like vanilla icies, don’t treat me rough, treat me really nicies, decorate my neck, diamantes ices” – Cola
I do love these lyrics, and I love how they’re sung, but the babyish tone – although appealing – kind of doesn’t appeal at the same time. Lana the grown woman with her fizzy drink vagina suddenly speaking like a little girl makes me wonder if she really is trying to channel the real Lolita (though I fiercely defend that she isn’t, and is just a young woman with a thing for older men). The mish-mash of words and phrases is strange anyway “drugs, suck it up like vanilla icies” and “diamantes ices” particularly. It’s fun for a sexy sing-song but it’s too much of the same sound and borderline baby talk.
Once again, it’s my opinion; I love all of her music and this isn’t hate; I like requests
*’Research’ came from:
**Though, of course, Money Power Glory exceeds Gucci Gang in every possible way.