say you'll remember

Lana Del Rey's overly-affected 50s Hollywood starlet with a dangerous smile kind of steez is just great. The reason her schtick works so well is because she has cunningly read the nostalgia that lies at the heart of all the recent powerful female soul vocalists for a kind of feminine origin, a Patti Smith or a Nancy Sinarta to take us back to some musical home we never had. Del Rey's approach is to take all such vocal and lyrical allusions - there's Smith and Sinatra, but also Cat Power, Tori Amos, you name it - and blender them into a kind of vocal melange that kind of leaves you insatiable - beckoning for a kind of fulfilment, a faint hint of 'that voice' or 'that chorus' that you have heard before deep in some past and know as a classic, but that isn't quite the same and that keeps you from bringing it up. In this way, along with her heavily generic lyrical references (her recent singles are unironically called 'Blue Jeans' and 'Video Games') and collage-heavy, faded video aesthetic - with homemade skate tapes and lovers footage interspersed with equally as temporally hazy snippets of old cartoons and films, Super 8 and moving pans of old but iconic US landmarks - Del Rey disassembles and reassembles our nostalgia for us in the very same movement. Our memories are all media now, not like they ever weren't, but it's in this longing for a home inside them that she exploits and caresses so smoothly that makes her work so immediately powerful.