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Is Lana Del Rey The New Amy Winehouse?

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Lana Del Rey — Elizabeth Grant (or Lizzy Grant) — has been named as ‘one to watch for 2012’ by many music critics, with her single ‘Video Games’ ear-marked by many as the top highlight of the entire music year. In the view of this (sometimes woefully inaccurate) music critic, it was.

The husky-voiced ‘gangsta Nancy Sinatra’, who gave herself her stage name by combining the first name of old Hollywood actress Lana Turner (The Postman Always Rings Twice) and a Ford car from 1981, is reeked in classic retro influences. These old-school influences — or her ‘masters’ — are Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Jeff Buckley, and Leonard Cohen. In fact, Lana Del Ray has even revealed that she doesn’t listen to any modern music. If you unfortunately caught an episode of Simon Cowell’s X Factor, you will know that this is a very wise choice indeed.

Lana Del ReyBut does this love of past greats, husky voice, and old-school style remind you of anyone? If you watch the video of ‘Video Games’, then I predict that there is a good chance that Amy Winehouse will probably pop into your thoughts!

Well, if not, then she will from now on. Del Rey isn’t writing instantly recognisable Winehouse-esque songs per se (and may not have even listened to ‘Back To Black‘), but they both sound (or sounded) very soulful and heavily influenced by the past, both drawing comparisons with the great Nina Simone.

However, the main connection I can see is in image and retro style — although obviously not the same influences. The late Winehouse’s style was 1960s girl groups (as her beehive hairdo and Cleopatra makeup was nabbed from The Ronettes), while Del Rey herself comes with retro false eyelashes, big lippy pout (which a writer with The Guardian unfairly compared to Daffy Duck), and hair and looks that may cause Lauren Bacall and Brigitte Bardot to contact their legal teams.

In short, the girl and her retro style/looks is a marketer’s dream! You can see advertisers clambering to get Del Rey pouting to sell their products. Alas, the (phoney?) gangsta tag also tries to promote the idea that Lizzy is a bad girl — which never really harms sales, does it? Winehouse wasn’t known to be the Mother Teresa of music either you know. It could be argued that Del Rey is almost a polished American version of Winehouse. This might be a savvy marketing ploy … or, just a coincidence.

Whatever the case, let’s just keep Lana Del Rey away from the booze.

Anyway, Del Rey’s retro vibes has led to ‘style over substance’ comments by people eager to get involved in the backlash. Rumours that Del Rey has been ‘created’ by music producers have been doing the rounds on music blogs, but even the biggest cynic can’t possibly deny that this girl has great talent and, in our superficial times, has the femme fatale looks to make the record-buying — sorry, download-buying — public go weak at the knees during 2012.

Her debut album Born To Die will be released in late January 2012. Watch the promo video for the title track at this link.

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About Andy Parker

  • Anna Kruczek

    Isn’t it obvious that soon after Amy’s death Lana simply “took her place”? Lana’s personality is a bit less dramatic, her face a bit prettier and her songs are definitely more “radio-friendly” (if you know what I mean…). It’s like they created Lana to fill emptiness Amy left when she died, but at the same time to earn some money. Lana, at least at the beginning of her career, was like Amy’s copy with a “friendlier”, more acceptable image. I prefer Lana’s songs, but I have to admit that Amy was definitely more real and less of a product.

  • Lis

    Amy Winehouse would have hated Lana Del Rey. Winehouse was as genuine as any person could get and with all the twisted accounts of Lana Del Rey’s live she’s very much the opposite. I like Lana Del Rey’s music but I don’t like her image, I love everything about Amy Winehouse.

  • Jay

    Lana is better than Amy? are you on drugs?

  • ortens

    No way!!!

  • Daniel

    Lana Del Ray is much much better than winehouse. not even a comparison

  • Yeah right

    Amy Winehouse has more soul than this botoxed lipped broad. Lana ain’t shit foreal!

  • Dylan

    Bob Dylan should not be mentioned in this article as it would be an insult to his legacy.

  • Bar S

    The lyrics to video games could have be written by a 12 year old and probably were. The “flow of conciseness” writing style still has to mean something. She should never be put in the same sentence as Winehouse, or even Nancy Sinatra for that matter.

  • vava

    No, she is not the new Amy Winehouse. she might be singing in a deep voice but its not like Amy’s. her lyrics are good but they dont carry the complexity of Amy’s story-like song writing. Lana has emotion in her voice and music but her lyrics are predictable, which is because they tell of fabricated experiences. Amy was her music. I like Lana Del Rey and i think she’s got potential, Hundred Dollar Bill stuck in my head like a broken record and i loved it,but she is yet to develop. it is too early to judge her talent.

  • anotherview

    O, no. She appears to have the early symptoms of “trout mouth” (AKA trout pout) from lip enhancement. Her everted upper lip distracts from her natural good looks.

  • Andy Parker

    Burned? Noooooo way. This is surely the finest example of the English Language since Charles Dickens! *Coughs*

    I do love Amy’s stuff. But Lana DOES remind me of Amy! Judging by everyone’s reaction I’m not sure anyone else does.

  • Ricky

    ew, as much as i love Lana, do NOT call her the new Amy Winehouse. There will never be a new Amy. This article should be burned.

  • Jame

    Video Games is a musical masterpiece,nostalgic and reverent simultaneously. Listening to it has become a guilty pleasure, taking me back to times I’d like to revisit-with the wisdom of my present intact.

  • Iron Raven

    No one will EVER replace Amy.

  • Andy Parker

    ‘Video Games’ was amazing! It has been stuck in my head for weeks.

    Yeah, you’re right Frank. But she did tell (British tabloid) the Daily Star that she doesn’t listen to modern music. Haha not that you should believe anything in that newspaper 😉 A lot of her influences are from the past though.

  • Frank

    How does she not listen to “modern music” when she posts Weeknd and Asap Rocky on her wall, and calls Britney Spears and Eminem talented?

  • Verene

    I love her! She’s amazing and she is not ‘The New Amy Winehouse’ She is her self!