Lana Del Rey | Aragon Ballroom | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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When Lana Del Rey’s aching, epic-size debut single, “Video Games,” went superviral in 2011 (eventually going gold and cracking the Hot 100), she was immediately accused of a litany of crimes—including being a major-label agent tasked with selling out the hipster counterculture (ha) and an antifeminist who may or may not have had her lips surgically plumped. The people leveling those charges failed to appreciate both the scale of her ambition and the accessibility of her retro-modern aesthetic. Del Rey may be playing in a league just below the Katy Perrys of the world, but she’s proved to be a legitimate pop star, with several huge hits (including a Cedric Gervais remix of “Summertime Sadness” that was impossible to escape last year) and an equally huge, devoted fan base of young women who’ve made the flower-crown industry one of the biggest growth sectors in the American economy. Her latest single, “West Coast” (from her upcoming second LP, Ultraviolence, produced by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach), ditches her debut’s hip-hop influence in favor of slow-motion rockabilly but maintains its swooning romanticism and weirdly aspirational existential edge. —Miles Raymer



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