Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Born To Die vs. Born To Lose

Comparing two songs which are pretty much only similar in name, and differ practically everywhere else.

Within a couple of days of one another, two highly anticipated new tracks made their way onto the intorweb-blogospherez - first up, the new single from that 'Video Games' woman Lana Del Rey (I must be the only person on said intorweb-blogosphere who still hasn't heard that song), and the glorious return of the downright awesome Sleigh Bells. One track is called 'Born To Die'. The other is called 'Born To Lose'. Which is better?

Back in 2010, Sleigh Bells released one of my absolute favourite albums of the year with their debut Treats. It was a whole awesome mind-splosion of overblown hardcore riffs, gigantic cheerleaders-on-steroids beats, alternately yelpy/cooing vocals and a shit-tonne of attitude. And it was truly fantastic. New single 'Born To Lose' is very promising - blending the laid back swoony vocals from 'Rill Rill' with the harsh, heavy guitars of 'Treats', the in-your-face obnoxiousness seems to have been slightly dialled down. Luckily, it sees the duo moving forward a little, but also retains pretty much everything that was ace about the debut. Bring on the new record - the brutal-sounding Reign Of Terror is released on Valentine's day.

  Sleigh Bells - Born To Lose by AndamosArmados

As such, Lana Del Rey's 'Born To Die' isn't a bad song. In some ways it's quite good. The main problem is that it's never as good as it thinks it is. It takes its hefty, portentous themes and portrays them with heft and portent. There's little lightness of touch, and the production smacks of too much stuff being desperately thrown at the song until it's swathed in actually-pretty-effective strings and actually-pretty-awful rappers' yelps of "AWRIGHT" and weird bubbly sound effects. Strip it all back, take away all of that self-importance and you get the impression that there's not only a good song but something 'true' and, uh, 'real' struggling to get out, man. Oh, and don't even get me started on that utterly indulgent and overblown video.

AND THE WINNER IS... Sleigh Bells, obviously.

p.s. Lana -Titus Andronicus totally got there first with the whole "BORN TO DIEEEEE" thing, and they did it quite a bit better than you.

Titus Andronicus - A More Perfect Union by Merok Records

1 comment:

  1. great Titus Andronicus song, but why pick on somebody who's being creative?


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