Headline Oct 01, 2015/ ''' SERIOUS WOMEN '''


Lana Del Rey,  also known as Lizzy Grant, and Florence Welch  -also known as Florence....and the increasingly earnest pop music of women-

Brings to mind so many beautiful memories. Time enough to reason  ''The State Of The Female Singer''.

LIKE ALL OTHER WORLDS these days, the world of female singers has become riven and divisive.

The divide is so large that it's not merely a  matter of style anymore; rather, the female voice itself seems to have been split in half.

Once it seemed that every great girl singer was capable of fomenting her own revolution; now female singers seem bound to make a choice between sounding like:
Precocious 12 years-olds keeping secrets or, well like machines, complete with auo-tuning.

We all know Florence Welch, of course.  Her first album, Lungs, boasted one of the great radio workouts in 2011, "Dog Days Are Over,'' and its very title served as an unsubtle advertisement for the two things that set its creator apart:

First, the sheer power of her pipes, and second, her utter lack of irony. Irony is the other dividing line in the world of female singers besides the amplitude of voice. And what's ironic is that the divas who survive-

The rough trade of commercial radio generally possess it, while the waif squadron doesn't, preferring a recessive authenticity over the assertion of self that turns out to be the assertion of brand.

Beyonce and Gaga, Rihanna and Kesha: they share little but an ability to impart an awareness that whatever their music pretends to be about, it's really about becoming Beyonce, Gaga, Rihanna and Kesha.

A more interesting challenge to the challenge of being a female singer in these times is being mustered by Lizzy Grant, whose debut CD as Lana Del Rey, Born To Die, came out in 2012.

Like Florence Welch, she has red hair, though she was once blonde; unlike Florence Welch, she has no aversion to taking a porn name.

She as ambitious as Gaga herself and about as authentic; though almost freakishly beautiful, she looks like the spawn of  a postoperative Nicole Kidman, and her lips  -not just plumped, Bratz-style-

But flat, as if she's been them against a window  -are already more famous on the Internet than her music. 

And yet it's her music that makes her interesting, because she uses the impersonal vantage of celebrity to make music that's personal in the extreme. Her voice is not agile and overwhelming like Florence Welch's.

Nor is it as aerobic as BeyoncĂ©'s or Gaga's; nor is it desultory and small, with a dollop of cuteness, like Feist's or St.  Vincent's. It's  low and dark, with a threatened upper register that conveys rather than sheds its emotional burdens.

It makes whatever she's singing sound a little like the songs David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti wrote for Julee Cruise back in the  Twin Peaks days, but those songs are about the atmospherics and Lizy Grant's are about  whatever led her to create the entity known as Lana Del Rey.

It's a different kind of becoming, at once mysterious and transparent, and if you want to see it in motion, go to YouTube and compare an early performance of ''Born To Die''  with a recent one at, yes, the Chateau Marmont.

In the first she is wearing a white dress that's too tight and too short, and she starts the song the way she does on the record, with a breathy wink-and-titter  " Who me?'' 

In the second, she representing a high-end fashion house, and she's singing to a crowd that supposedly includes the like of Kate Bosworth and Juno Temple.

Pretty girls all, they no boubt thought that this pretty girl was singing about them; but she was really singing about herself, for herself, with a name that no real human being has ever had-

And a fat lip that, for one moment at least, she seemed to have come by honestly.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers the world over -especially those who love music and even teach it. See Ya all on !WOW! -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Music Charged '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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