Lana Del Rey certainly doesn’t shy away from controversy. After saying she is retiring from music, doesn’t like performing publicly, and flirting with the good/bad dynamic almost to the point of self-parody (her music videos, single covers, ALL marketing material with her name on it), she releases a music video that essentially depicts the shooting of John F. Kennedy and the inter-marital affairs with Marilyn Monroe, in 5 and a half minutes of bizarre extrapolated cut-shots.
The video is meant to represent a loss of innocence, but it’s more akin to a loss of sanity. Aesop Rocky pulls a dialed down performance of John F. Kennedy, and his inclusion is a little underwhelming considering he doesn’t even have a vocal presence in the song (a dramatically laid-back hip-hop verse from Aesop could have worked brilliantly). Del Rey herself plays the dual characters of Marilyn Monroe and Jackie O. The whole thing is so borderline distasteful and hipster-artistic it just about breaks the very dimensional limit separating this universe from another. And just like Lana Del Rey, we are allowed some hyperbole, because when you make a video depicting one of the most tragic scenarios in American history without even a hint of self-acknowledgement and irony, you get what is coming.
You can’t even say it’s filmed all that well, with gritty shots of the two lovers kissing in a park and taking care of their children, all to the soundtrack of one of the weakest songs on Lana Del Rey’s debut album, Born to Die.
Don’t get me wrong. Born to Die’s powerful melodies and Lana Del Rey’s deep-throated voice soars with odd beauty through the course of the album, but the video doesn’t exactly make anything clear beyond the fact that Lana Del Rey delves into controversy and pissing people off, without substantiating it with an important or self-sufficient message.
For what it is worth, the video just isn’t all that interesting anyway.
Check it out in full, below:
Ryan Merkel is a cool writer guy and contributor all over the internet, from blogs on music to magazines about music to sites about playing music. He is currently founder of SunState Investing and is head editor of the music entertainment magazine, CultureTease. He has written two novels, and is currently working on a third full-length novel, surprisingly, not about music. His novel “Splatter the Noise” earned accolades for independent publishing. Be sure to check out: www.sunstateinvesting.com
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