Results for Lana Del Rey

interviews

Jessica Hopper

Senior Pitchfork editor and music critic Jessica Hopper joins Jim and Greg in the studio for a discussion of her new book The First Collection of Criticism By a Living Female Rock Critic. This career-spanning anthology includes Hopper's controversial pieces on pop icons Lana Del Rey and Miley Cyrus, her famous Village Voice article on the R. Kelly controversy that emerged after an interview with Jim himself, and other notable reviews by the accomplished critic. Hopper discusses her start as a fifteen year-old fanzine writer, the challenge of separating the art from the artist, and the significance of the female voice in music criticism.

Go to episode 502
specials

Turkey Shoot 2014

Turkey Shoot: It's Turkey time! Dip these albums in the deep fryers (safely of course). Here are the albums that most let Jim and Greg down in 2014:

Go to episode 468
reviews
UltraviolenceUltraviolence available on iTunes

Lana Del Rey Ultraviolence

Lana Del Rey has come a long way since her dismal performance on Saturday Night Live in 2012. While critically polarizing, her release Born to Die went on to sell 7 million copies worldwide. Then a remix single, "Summertime Sadness," became a Top 10 hit. And she was tapped to contribute to the big Disney release Maleficent. Now she's back with a full-length record called Ultraviolence. If Jim and Greg were grading Del Rey on acting or performance, she might get an A. But, this show is about music. And with tired lyrics, a drugged-out vocal style and dragging tempos, Ultraviolence can only get a Trash It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 447
Born To Die - The Paradise EditionBorn to Die available on iTunes

Lana Del Rey Born to Die

Whether you've been watching Saturday Night Live or reading the Wall Street Journal, you have heard of Lana Del Rey. She's been a lightening rod for a number of conversations about marketing and feminism. But Jim and Greg are happy to look past all those debates and focus on the music. Unfortunately, this self-proclaimed“Gangsta Nancy Sinatra”isn't wowing them on her new release Born to Die. Jim describes Del Rey as a combination of Julee Cruise and Lily Allen, however she doesn't have the vocal chops or the sense of humor of either. Worse than her narrow range, however, is her lack of passion and believability. Jim says Trash It. Greg loves the production by industry veteran David Kahne. But the songs are very“samey”and full of cliches. He also can't abide by her passive nature, so Greg can only say Burn It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 324
The Bravest Man In the Universe (Expanded Edition)The Bravest Man in the Universe available on iTunes

Bobby Womack The Bravest Man in the Universe

Like Patti Smith, Bobby Womack's got a storied musical history. He played with Sam Cooke in the sixties, was a session musician for Aretha Franklin and Sly Stone, and finally made a name for himself as a solo artist with classic R&B albums like Communication and The Facts of Life in the seventies. Unfortunately addiction dragged him down and by the nineties Womack was a musical nonentity. With The Bravest Man in the Universe, Womack announces his comeback. He's cleaned up and is working with producer Damon Albarn of Blur. Womack and Albarn have played it smart, Jim says, by not living in the past. The electronic soul tracks Albarn's created for Womack don't sound vintage in the slightest. The themes might be familiar - Womack sings from the point of view of a man who done wrong - but the music is challenging and fresh. Greg agrees. While he wishes Albarn and Womack hadn't turned over quite so many tracks to guests like Lana Del Rey, he's loving Womack's sandpapery voice. Double Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 345
news

Music News

With the release of Nielsen's SoundScan year-end sales figures for 2013, Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines has officially been crowned the top-selling single of the year with 6.5 million units. Hot on Thicke's heels were Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' Thrift Shop and Imagine Dragons' Radioactive with 6.15 million and 5.5 million respectively. Turning to albums, Justin Timberlake claimed the top spot with 2.43 million copies of The 20/20 Experience sold. Though, Jim and Greg note that the album's numbers happen to be the lowest sales for a #1 record in Nielsen history.

The report also revealed other interesting trends in the music industry. Vinyl record enthusiasts continued to show the love for LPs in 2013 with sales up 33% over the year before. People loved streaming their music, as well, but digital sales were down 6%. This has Jim and Greg wondering: is the stream going to kill the download?

Speaking of death and downloads… Last week, Jim and Greg reported the loss of pioneering country rocker Phil Everly. Apparently they weren‘t the only ones mourning. In the week after Phil’s passing, fans downloaded 18,000 Everly Brothers songs, a whopping 696% increase from the previous week. Dying, it turns out, can be a great career move.

Coachella Music Festival has released its full 2014 lineup. In addition to top headliners Arcade Fire, Muse, and OutKast (who are reuniting for the first time since 2007), the desert super-show will feature Girl Talk, Lana Del Rey, Motörhead, Lorde, plus two bonus reunions: The Replacements and Neutral Milk Hotel.

In other live music news, the NFL has beefed up its plans for the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show. Just in case main act Bruno Mars wasn‘t enough to satisfy America’s burning need for overhyped pop spectacle, the Red Hot Chili Peppers will be joining him onstage. What a combination, Greg laments.

If the Nielsen numbers were any sign, streaming music is here to stay. And now another big player is hoping to break into that (already crowded) market: Beats Music. Spearheaded by Dr. Dre, Trent Reznor, and record exec Jimmy Iovine, the new streaming service aims to offer a more curated listening experience than its competitors. Rather than using algorithms to help users find music, Beats will rely on experts from Pitchfork, Rolling Stone—and your esteemed Sound Opinions hosts! But Jim and Greg wanted to know how the service compensates artists and labels, something for which Spotify and Pandora have taken flak. CEO Ian Rogers explains that because Beats Music won‘t be available for free, the company will pay extra for each song streamed. With the majority of every subscription fee going toward giving rights holders their fair share, Rogers says that what’s good for Beats Music is good for the industry.

Go to episode 425