Last month Lana Del Rey graced us with her third major label studio album when she dropped Honeymoon on September 18th. It's gorgeous. It's lush. It's Lana Del Rey of 2015.
The concept of this Throwback Thursday is to delve into the artists that Lana Del Rey credits as her “influences”. Her sound is distinctly her. The words she spits are as original as Nicki Minaj and she is nothing if not her own entity.
One of the things Lana Del Rey says is that her muses are the biggest in “their fields.” Amy Winehouse was the modern soulstress of the twenty first century. There is a distinct tie in between the two of them. Both of them play off this bad girl image of drugs and sex. Beneath all of it there's still this beautiful quality.
It's not surprising that she counts her as one of her idols. Lana has been quoted as saying “I know she's (Amy Winehouse) isn't with us anymore, but I believe she was who she was and in that way she got it right.”
Rolling Stone referenced The Crystals as one of her inspirations. I similarly pointed this out in a Throwback Thursday published a few months ago. The Crystal's were one of the more popular girl groups of the sixties and one of their songs was “He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss)”. This was directly quoted in Lana's own “Ultraviolence”. Both songs are haunting and cinematic. The link between them is clear.
Rapper Eminem has been credited as her inspiration to write about real life. The hip hop sounds she incorporates clearly demonstrate her tie to this kind of opulent sound. On occasion she's rapped a few lines herself like on “Off To The Races”. How she feels about Eminem after he rapped over an innocuous beat “I'll punch Lana Del Rey right in the face, twice like Ray Rice.”
Eminem always a proponent for women.
One of the most obvious inspirations is Nancy Sinatra. Daughter to the legendary Frank and known for her massive hit “These Boots Are Made For Walking”, Lana Del Rey is referenced as being the “gangsta Nancy Sinatra”. Of course as she later retracted with GQ “that was supposed to be a joke.” The label has nevertheless stuck. Partially due to Lana Del Rey's own retro polished image that harkens back to Nancy's heyday. And, one can't forget when Lana Del Rey's covered Nancy's hit “Summer Wine” with her ex boyfriend a few years ago.
Britney Spears is the legend that the hipster population of the United States most actively avoid. Lana Del Rey embraces her. That's clear with the easy pop sensibility of all of Lana's music. Her music clings as good as “...Baby One More Time” did for Britney in '99. It's all about the hooks and who better to garner inspiration from then Miss Britney Spears.
All Lana would need is to change her sentimental strings to joyless electronic noise to hit the top 40. Take the “Summertime Sadness (Cedric Gervais Remix)” as proof.
An array of rock influences have been credited by Lana. Bruce Springsteen, Dan Auerbach, Nirvana, among others. These sounds are clearly infected on Ultraviolence. Not just because Auerbach helped helm the record. And, the aching sadness of Nirvana was conveyed without an icy guitar solo.
Honeymoon has proved what Born to Die and Ultraviolence only hinted at. The continued success of Lana Del Rey. With hit makers this strong to back her up it's no surprise she's endeared herself the way she has.