The other side of "Paradise"

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“Ride” from Lana Del Rey’s new EP, "Paradise"

Lana Del Rey’s music makes me want to drown myself in a bathtub.

And I mean that in a good way.

Her sickly-sweet contralto does not capture sadness or depression, but something stronger and more destructive. She sings about ennui.

Boredom. The boredom of celebrity, of fame, of wealth. The boredom of playing the game that so many Hollywood souls use to give meaning to their lives, to the fake, perfect world they all must secretly wish would burn down.

The boredom that causes teenagers to get tattoos and successful businessmen to snort coke in their office bathrooms. The kind of boredom that makes you try anything just to feel alive again.

And then you find yourself driving through the desert at 10 in the morning with the top down, the dry wind beating against your face as the engine chokes on hot air and you sink deeper into the thin black strip of pavement that cuts the sands in half.

You don’t know where you’re going. You don’t care. Your radio is playing “Ride,” the first track on Lana Del Rey’s new EP Paradise, and for the first time in a long time, you’re alive.

Released on Nov. 13, Paradise features nine new tracks from Lana Del Rey, whose debut album Born To Die reached number one around the globe and vaulted the singer-songwriter to international fame.

In addition to its standalone release, the EP is being released alongside the 15 original tracks from Born To Die in a special release billed as Born To Die (The Paradise Edition). These two albums are best heard together, as the EP is an extension to the album, carrying the same sound and mood.

Paradise is about being famous and lonely. It is about a girl who has everything and yet nothing at all. In Del Rey’s lyrics lie the frustrations of ascribing meaning to a life that doesn’t even need one. It is the boredom and apathy of not having anything to work toward or worry about.

Lana Del Rey’s music is the type that grows on you. You might be put-off on first listen. Her unique, dark voice is often juxtaposed against a bubblegum-sounding chorus which, if you lose yourself in the song, might sound happy and upbeat. When you pay attention to the lyrics, however, you’ll find that disguised behind this sound is the emotion and soul of its author. You’ll soon find yourself craving the starved, empty heart that resonates in her powerful vocals.

Lana Del Rey is the innocent-looking, pretty girl who you would find walking along the beach while everyone was still at the party, high heels in her hand as the surf swirls around the bottom of her dress. At first you might think she’s upset because of some boy or because of her friends or something like that. But then you realize it’s something more. You can see it in her eyes—lifeless and tired. She has everything, but she is still so empty. And the music is the only thing that makes her come alive.

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Paradise and Born To Die (The Paradise Edition) are available on iTunes.

I am a freshman from Huntington Beach, California and am currently studying English and Communications.

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