Born to Die



Mature content and messages in pop starlet's debut CD.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Along with references to drinking and drugs, some troubling messages about falling for (and being unable to shake) "dangerous, tainted, and flawed" guys.


Positive role models

A lot of songs are about wanting to be with someone who isn't respectful, which isn't a great message for young people.


One line about buying a gun.


Some mentions of kissing and allusions to sex: "You can't keep your hands off of me or your pants on."


A few uses of "s--t," "f--k," and "bitch."


Several product and celebrity references like Mountain Dew, Chateau Marmont, and Bugatti.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Several references to drinking, along with talk of "getting high" and "overdosin'."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Born to Die features a fair amount of adult content, including references to kissing, sex, drinking, and drugs, along with the occasional swear word ("s--t," "f--k"). In addition, it contains some eyebrow-raising messages about rollercoaster romances between reckless people who bring out the worst in each other yet can't let go. All of these traits make the record too mature for younger kids and tweens.

What's the story?

BORN TO DIE is the debut album from pop starlet Lana Del Ray -- aka Elizabeth Woolridge Grant -- a young singer-songwriter who has been described as a \"self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra.\" Most of the 15 songs on this album share a central theme: falling for a tough guy who causes his girl a lot of misery and heartache.

Is it any good?


It's been said that Lana Del Ray's recordings have more appeal than her live performances (especially after a disastrous performance on a 2012 episode of Saturday Night Live). Regardless of whether you prefer her live or recorded, she has a love-it-or-hate-it singing style that ranges from light and spacey to somber and deep.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Lana Del Ray's lyrics compare to her young pop contemporaries like Lady Gaga, Adele, and Katy Perry. What are some of the common themes?

  • Do you think Lana Del Ray is a role model? Why or why not?

  • Critics tend to love or hate Del Ray. Why do you think that is?

Music details

Artist:Lana Del Ray
Release date:January 31, 2012
Label:Interscope Records
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old July 9, 2012

Positive Role modle

I think that her music is exceptional. I bought her album because I am a big fan. When I heard her songs, there where some stuff not for younger kids. I think she is a postive role model because she is so sweet and down-to-earth. I would recommend it to an older audince. Most kids don't know her, so they tend to go to more pop. She is an amazing singer and I hope she becomes known for her music.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written bySparkleJumpRope June 11, 2012

It's REY not RAY.

First of all, the F word isn't mentioned in any songs whatsoever. There's also only 15 songs on the DELUXE edition, on the ordinary one you'll find in stores it's just 12. Anyway, Lana Del REY herself is a positive role model, she's sweet down to earth and has learned from the mistakes she's made. This album isn't only about heartbreak and the opener 'Born to Die' has an important message which is live and have fun because you never know when you'll die. I can't really imagine any youngsters requesting this CD as they would probably find it 'boring' and I doubt many teenagers will like it anyway since she's not a sell out. I'm a big Lana fan so maybe this is bias but it's a really good album and certainly worth at least a listen. My favourite tracks are 'Off to the Races', 'National Anthem', 'Diet Mountain Dew' and 'Lolita'(which is on the DELUXE).
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written bywhimsicalreviewer June 28, 2012

Intriguing, solemn, hypnotic-- and surprisingly distinguished!

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.


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