One of the weirder things about modern culture is that we're not just constantly roasting Lana Del Rey. She's basically the Lena Dunham of music: pretentious, privileged, completely lacking in self-awareness, and anything substantial to say outside of how edgy and fabulous she is. It was only a matter of time before she started writing poetry about vaping.
Okay, the lead "single" from Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass (sigh), her new audiobook of spoken word poetry, titled "L.A. Who Am I to Love You" (ugh), isn't about vaping. But it does personify the city as a body "vaping lightly next to me," and for that alone, she should be legally forced to apologize to the concept of words.
Distressingly, according to The Guardian's review of the book, this is the best poem in there. The rest is described as "sometimes cliched, often rambling and consistently solipsistic," and from the examples provided, that seems charitable. To her credit, she seems to at least try to present the facade of speaking through a character, telling the audience in "L.A. Who Am I to Love You" that "I never had a mother" and "They say I came from money but I didn't," both of which are demonstrably untrue about herself. But she can't let her obsession with her perceived privilege go. In a poem called "Happy," she declares, "People think I'm rich, and I am, but not how they think," meaning she's rich in spirit or whatever. But she's also actually super-rich. She's the granddaughter of a financial executive turned venture capitalist and worth $30 million all on her own. She is rich exactly how they think.
She doesn't do her argument any favors by lamenting elsewhere, according to a disturbingly glowing NME review, about "the sailing lessons she's self-conscious to begin in case people recognize her and tell her she doesn't belong down at the docks of California's Marina Del Rey." People are dying, Lana. Of course, there's also a poem about Donald Trump. The less said about that, the better.
The audiobook has been curiously released two months ahead of the print edition, so it remains to be seen which one will be ... yeah, no, that'll definitely be worse. Hopefully, seeing those cringey words stripped of Del Rey's voice or the "soft, smoky jazz" stylings of The Guy From Fun will be the tipping point that forces us all to acknowledge that this lady is nothing more than 35-year-old edgelord. If there's anything more universally reviled than the band Fun, it's bad poetry.
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