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Before Lana Del Rey had officially released a single song, her buzz was massive thanks to an enchanting viral video (“Video Games”) that attracted tens of millions of viewers. Approximately six months later, Del Rey released her debut album, Born to Die, which is filled with torch songs influenced by hip-hop. She wrote and recorded the tracks in a chilling fashion befitting the self-proclaimed “gangster Nancy Sinatra.” The album’s first six songs alone are enough to warrant a spot in modern music collections alongside ADELE, Amy Winehouse, and Erykah Badu. There’s no denying these noir-shaded numbers—many of which are built on orchestral accouterments and subtle vocal samples reminiscent of Kanye West productions. Del Rey’s husky narrative lingers like smoke clouds, leaving wafts of rhythmic phrasings delivered by an icy, heartbroken femme fatale. The album’s deluxe version includes three mores cuts and a bonus remix of “Video Games”, the song that lit the fuse.

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