Lana Del Rey and the Eternal Zeitgeist Playlist
Although Internet time makes it seem like years ago already, it has been only a few weeks since every pop music concern in the universe was devoting critical mindshare to the case of Lana Del Rey. Accordingly, the hubbub has died down, the records have ceased selling, the concert tour has been cancelled, and we're left with one beautiful, defining single: "Video Games." This lightspeed cycle of gestation to disappearance calls into doubt whether Ms. Del Rey even qualifies as a one hit wonder, since the fanfare didn't last long enough for many people to even become aware of her as a popular entity, no less hear the song on the radio.
Imagine Radiohead releasing Pablo Honey in 2012 -- "Creep" is still a momentous song, but the comparative failings of the rest of the LP, paired with the band's backstory (privileged kids with elite school connections benefitting from major label Svengalism) may have caused the most important band of the past two decades to burn out before its fuse had been lit. Sound familiar?
My point isn't to defend Lana Del Rey or the marketers who found, transformed, and ruined her, but to consider the great songs that get destroyed as collateral damage to the hype machine's backfire. Will "Video Games" be remembered in 15 years the way "Creep" is today (or even "Sex and Candy" by Marcy Playground)? Unfortunately, it's more likely to suffer the same fate as its friends-in-the-biz kin like "Far Behind" by Candlebox or "Stay (I Missed You)" by Lisa Loeb, although I think it deserves a much loftier place in the eternal zeitgeist playlist.
-- Ryan Mixtape, 03/04/2012