The tunes come from a scrapped 2009 recording session; a year later, Del Rey would release her debut Lana Del Ray [sic] a.k.a. Lizzy Grant, a major growing pain on her path to success. The Princess Superstar-produced songs are even rougher around the edges. The voice is barely recognizable as the artist that would become a critical darling in 2012 with the release of her major-label debut Born to Die.
Still, it's an interesting glimpse at a musician trying to find her voice and focus her sound. Just be prepared for a warts and all exhibition.
"Maha Maha," is driven by a cheesy Bossa Nova beat and electronic handclaps, and features hit-and-miss vocals (the lower register parts sound good, the high pitch stuff is less enjoyable).
"Catch and Release" is better--breathy and atmospheric with some interesting surreal sound effects.
And "Golden Grill" rides a single bass drum and a clanging artificial high-hat, and is saturated with reverb. Then those darned handclaps enter the mix. The vocals here are an intriguing mix of earthy and ethereal, but lack a concrete hook.
Far better is the material Del Rey released this spring and summer. First came the haunting "Young and Beautiful," which she recorded for The Great Gatsby soundtrack and released on April 23. Then, fans heard the soulful "Queen of Disaster," the ethereal demo for Black Beauty which is scheduled for her next album; and "So Legit," a Lady Gaga diss-track recorded a few years ago.
Del Rey continues to work on the follow-up to Born to Die. On August 1, she'll perform a set at the Chicago House of Blues. The next day she's scheduled to play at Lollapalooza, which runs from August 2-4 and features a diverse range of acts including the Cure, the Killers, Mumford & Sons, Nine Inch Nails and Phoenix.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Lana Del Rey
- Princess Superstar