Del Rey goes west

Media fabrication or precocious talent? The debate over Lana Del Rey’s identity threatened to obscure her first album, along with reports of hit-and-miss live shows and a refusal to engage in the social media whirlwind which consumes most pop stars. Almost two years later, Lana’s back and ready for round two. She’s been curiously quiet: only piping up to advertise the deluxe edition of her debut, and to do the creepiest cover of ‘Once Upon A Dream’ for the film Maleficent.

‘West Coast’ feels like a slow dance in the desert. It’s hard to say how much of a departure it is from Born to Die without listening to other material, but the delicate guitar picks and rhythmic snare drum that accompany her voice seem to play a more integral part than the instruments had done before. Lana’s voice seems distant in the verses, which makes the returning warmth of it in the chorus gratifying. It doesn’t seem to have the kind of catchy nature that some of the first singles did, but the looped video of Lana dancing on a beach is hypnotic in itself. The jury is still out on whether she can recreate the success of album number one, but this is by no means a step in the wrong direction.