As I’ve written before, I’ve never been a massive fan of Lana Del Rey. For all the hype, I’ve yet to see much to get excited about – apart from when her listless vocals end up on a song that fits her style. So far “Video Games”, “Born to Die” and “Young and Beautiful” fit the bill, but listening to her entire “Born to die” album was like slow death for me. I have it down as one of those albums I probably SHOULD try and get into, but honestly there aren’t enough hours in the day.
Evidently someone at her label has done two things. Firstly they realised that this sticking-point might be something that a significant demographic might also feel about Lana, a demographic that could be tempted to buy her album. Secondly, they were listening to the radio last summer when Florence + The Machine’s “Spectrum” got a Calvin Harris remix that propelled it to F+TM’s first UK No.1, and buoyed up sales for that difficult second album.
Perhaps a little lazily, the solution they came up with was to just do an EDM remix (that’s Electronic Dance Music, apparently everyone calls it EDM now). Score one point for not re-inventing the wheel, the Cedric Gervais remix of “Summertime Sadness” is shaping up to be her biggest hit in the UK, having just reached #2 on iTunes.
I decided to listen to the original first, otherwise how could I automatically bleat on about how terrible the remix was? That’s forward thinking. The original is pretty much as the layman would imagine, more sad drones with a repetitive chorus. I’m really starting to lose my patience for her to elicit some excitement in me. The video – shot in her now typical vintage style – is a collection of home movies and artsy metaphors for a torrid lesbian relationship. Probably. Mostly they just go on walks, sit in cars, pout at each other, jump off bridges, and even occasionally smile. Yes, this gleeful montage ends in tragedy when they both commit suicide. Yay summer!
The remix, doesn’t fare much better really, but at least it doesn’t make me imagine what my body would sound like slamming against those rocks. Depressing women + basic dance beats are very now, just ask Sia. So the result is reasonable, and accessible, but it feels a bit lacking. Maybe if they’d dared to remix one of her better songs they might have been onto something, but this one is alright.
As terribly uncomfortably as the heat is tonight, summertime isn’t all bad, so maybe this shouldn’t be an enduring summer hit. I mean you wouldn’t release a song called “Crappy Christmas” in December, would you? Maybe Lana would. Anyway, I give a shrug to this and move on. When two unstoppable forces of mediocrity collide, it turns out the Earth doesn’t move.