Some pop stars keep you hooked by their constant unpredictability. You never know what costume Lady Gaga will wear next, or what object Miley Cyrus will gyrate next to on stage. They’re exciting, so we keep coming back for more.
But I’d argue that Lana Del Rey works in exactly the opposite way. She’s successful because fans know exactly what they’re getting when they put on a Lana song. Her lyrics center around over-the-top glamour, retro Americana, religious references, and a pile of daddy issues. They’re so remarkably consistent that after listening to Born to Die and Paradise, it should be easy to predict what’s on her upcoming album, Ultraviolence. (Although Ultraviolence doesn’t have a release date yet, we do know that it’s being produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. “West Coast” is the first single.)
My fellow Lana-obsessed friend and I combed through her lyrics and tallied up buzzwords from Born to Die and Paradise. “Baby” appears in 18 separate songs, “diamond” is in four, and “Jesus” appears twice. Based on that list, I crafted a few fake lyrics that wouldn’t be out of place on her next album. And Lana, if you’re reading this, feel free to steal one for the hook of your next single.
1. Elvis bought me diamonds in the Hamptons, Mr. President.
2. Marilyn Monroe’s pussy, dreams, and tears are our national anthem.
3. I wanna kiss you hard in your Bugatti and drink bottles of Bacardi.
4. My old man calls me honey; I like that he has lots of money.
5. God loves you, baby, but not as much as I do.
6. James Dean and Jesus bought me drinks at the Chateau Marmont.
7. Queen Lolita wears red lipstick in America.
8. I love to ride downtown with the top down, baby.
9. Your body is a sweet paradise, and your fortune is my heaven.
10. Daddy, will you take me to Hollywood this summer?
11. Pretty girls in pink dresses drive and die tonight.
12. I’m wearing your blue jeans on Coney Island, Daddy.
13. Summer nights in Las Vegas are electric in my party dress.
14. New York City is darling and dope in the burning twilight.
15. I’m just a Kennedy girl in a Pepsi-Cola world.