Del Rey has been lauded by some audiences and bashed by others. Regardless of the reception she has received, her rhythmic beats, dark, sillky voice, glamorous yet mature image (for which she has been likened to old singers such as Nancy Sinatra), and raw, melancholic lyrics are hard to resist. Personally, the first time I hard her music, I was hardly moved. I could see bits and pieces reflected from other artists, bleak melodies, and quite simply, I found it to be dull. But over time, as I stumbled upon her music and gave it another chance, I discovered that those aspects of her songs, are JUST what make her Lana Del Rey.
Her somber, trance-like voice did grow on me, and once I deciphered the lyrics and let the eclectic tunes run through my head, I was hooked. Each time I listened to her songs, I found a different thing to praise--almost as if I was going treasure hunting and unearthed a new gem with every listen. Think of each of her songs like glass sculptures--beautifully crafted and delicate, yet simple, unique and quirky. Her songs are flooded with orchestral elements, such as harps and violins (which is similar to that of Florence + Machine), along with splashes of hip-hop, western-style twangs, light, stomping beats and a gorgeous voice range, which can scale from low and sultry to high and sweet. Some verses are so wrought with emotion that you can almost feel tremors through Del Rey's quaking voice.
All in all, it is a fantastic album that manages to set itself aside from typical indie. It might seem too monotones and bland to some, and there are certainly flaws to be noted, but once you're immersed in the music, you can't help but be enchanted and in awe.
This album is perfectly fine for an audience of 13 and older, even serving as appropriate for slightly younger age groups (11-12). The mild obscenities in Born To Die are so soft and subtle, they are practically undetectable; the few sexual, drug/drinking references and language are, for the most part, harmless, especially if your child is in middle school, when they are usually exposed to harsher forms vulgarity (take this from the experience of a recent middle school graduate.) The messages might be confusing for some who aren't mature/observant enough to pick up on the cynicism and irony in Del Rey's music, but for those who do, they should know that these messages are primarily cautionary and/or are referencing different struggles and ideals in life that they will and should know of.