Lana Del Rey Gets The Superstar Treatment by Fiat

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Nicole Nodland

In his piece in this week’s TIME Magazine, Douglas Wolk weighs in on the Lana Del Rey debate.

If you regularly follow music blogs, or pay attention to new music in general, you’ve probably heard of Del Rey. At the very least, you saw — or read about the backlash against — her languid bordering on narcoleptic Saturday Night Live performance. As Wolk writes, she’s “an online starlet thanks to a couple of low-res YouTube videos.” A rather small but intense debate has raged for several months now about the “authenticity” of Del Rey, who appears to be wholly manufactured in terms of both persona and musical talent, yet is content in passing herself off as some sort of indie musician (whatever that means).

At any rate, Del Rey’s album drops today, so you can now pass judgment yourself. But it’s worth checking out Wolk’s piece for observations such as this one:

The problem is that the entertainment industry has decided that Del Rey is an important artist whether we like it or not. But pop audience are intensely meritocratic — that’s why we love American Idol. If we don’t get to vote on our musicians, we expect them to prove their worth by touring, woodshedding and building a body of work. Del Rey is getting the superstar treatment by fiat; she’s a fledgling talent stuck in a costume that won’t come off.

We suggest you read Wolk’s entire piece. He’s a fantastic critic.