Liz on Lana

Liz Phair penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal sticking up for Lana Del Rey, though with no shortage of caveats and left-handed compliments:

Let me break it down for you: she’s writing herself into existence. She’s giving herself a part to play because, God knows, no one else will and she wants to matter in this life. As far as I can tell, it’s working. I went straight to iTunes and bought her new release “Born To Die” in toto (how often do I do that??) because it was more than a collection of songs or a performance, it was a phenomenon. Maybe all the more so because she’s not overwhelmingly talented. The minute I hear the whisperings of “how dare she,” I’m interested. I don’t have to like it, it doesn’t have to be worthy.

For the record, it seems odd that Liz Phair is giving attention to the one female singer in America who merits no further attention. And it’s strange to see Lana Del Rey held up as an example of “exactly what I [Liz Phair] was hoping to inspire when I took on the male rock establishment almost twenty years ago with my debut record, “Exile In Guyville.””

LDR is the very epitome of a manufactured pop star. Not self-invented, à la Bowie, Madonna, or Lady Gaga, mind you, but manufactured, complete with all the synthetic trappings that word connotes: a prepackaged persona (and face), a focus-group-approved sound, and instant (and woefully unearned) access to a nationwide audience.

Update: Also this.

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One Response to Liz on Lana

  1. Yeah. I like what she’s saying here but I think she’s sticking up for the wrong person.

    I stick by what I used to say in high school: I hand all due credit to Britney Spears, because she works harder at being Britney Spears than I could ever work at being myself. (She and I are less than two months apart in age.) So I give LDR credit for that, doing the work to be a Famous Person, which is not easy. To me, though, it’s a somewhat mystifying and pretty darned non-noble urge.

    LDR strikes me as a Milli Vanilli moment, where we suddenly notice and are outraged by the manufacture that takes place more or less constantly all around us. I hope she takes some voice lessons and nurtures any actual talent she has, OR, she goes back to wherever she came from and tries to live a real, non-famous life.

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