4. Lana Del Rey, Born to Die
Label: Polydor, Stranger, Interscope
Released: January 12
Melodramatic melodies and haunting, self-deprecating lyrics fill Lana Del Rey's debut album, Born to Die. She perfected her "lolita in the hood" and "gangster Nancy Sinatra" styles into one of the most beautifully numbing albums of the year.
With acclaim came hate, but to say that the dramatic production on the album is overwhelming misses her point. Lana made hearts cringe with "National Anthem" and nailed the hot weather blues on "Summertime Sadness." Combined with her visuals, Del Rey became a pop goddess on Born to Die.
Upon its re-release, Paradise, she added "Ride" to the collection, possibly her greatest work, a perfect weave of loneliness, daddy issues, and vulnerability, or simply put, a phenomenal pop ballad. -LN