When Lana del Rey’s “Video Games” hit the Internet in July, it caught everyone off guard. Here was an artist who’s only known release seemed so fully formed, both aesthetically and sonically, that there had to be some gimmick to it: This gorgeous, vintage-attired chanteuse couldn’t be for real, right? Lana del Rey’s “look” is calculated for maximum old-Hollywood nostalgia. From her Nancy Sinatra hairdo to the grainy, found imagery, “Video Games” is an immersive playact with “Lana del Ray” as the star. Like Drake’s “Marvin’s Room” or the (formerly) mysterious R&B artist The Weeknd, Lana Del Rey’s “Hollywood sad-core” is an ode to the anhedonia of the opulent. With her sultry, Cat Power-esque deliver, Lana del Ray plays a woman lost—unapologetically out of touch with recession-era notions of restraint or consequence. “Video Games” uses footage of a drunken Paz de la Huerta and sun-bleached skaters as symbols of self-destructive glamor. IIt would be wrong to fault Lana del Rey as somehow inauthentic; In her world nothing is more "real" than anything else. Life itself is the video game.
Lana del Rey