Are You a Swifty?

I am. I think she's great.

And You?


@wesheadley You say, “…the fake divide between male and female artists…” yet you also say, “For female pop artists I’d put Lana Del Rey...”  

Further, if we actually entertained such dumb sexism in this way (comparing ‘female artists’), and then took your assertion that Lana Del Rey’s oeuvre could be placed “among the best,” “in any era,” we’d still be walkin’ on reeeeaaaal thin ice.  

If we looked at the songwriting output in the era of mid-‘60s-through-mid-‘70s by the likes of Carole King, Ellie Greenwich, Cynthia Weil, Nina Simone, Dolly Parton, Valerie Simpson, Aretha Franklin, Loretta Lynn, Nico, Bobbie Gentry, Joni Mitchell, and Betty Davis, and then looked at Lana Del Rey’s oeuvre, and then said hers could be “put up there with any of them,”…um…uh…yyyyeeaahh, no.  

If we threw her oeuvre into the mix of ‘90s artists like The Breeders, Aimee Mann, Björk, Lauryn Hill, Sinead O’Connor, Liz Phair, Iris Dement, Sleater-Kinney, Gillian Welch, PJ Harvey, Lucinda Williams, and Fiona Apple…um…uh…yyyeeeaaahh, no.

Throw Lana (or Taylor for that matter) into a room with either of those eras’ artists in their primes (we could do it with other eras…mid-‘70s-through-mid-‘80s, for example…same result) and she’d likely pull a Wayne’s World-esque, bowing-on-her-knees-on-the-floor, “We are not worthy! We are not worthy!” (in this case, the ‘we’ being her two-dozen-odd different co-writers the last decade)


Ha! You're right! I should not make that distinction unless asked to.

Regarding Lana Del Rey -- have you listed to her album "Norman Fucking Rockwell"? She's an exceptional songwriter. She does not write by committee like say, Beyonce'. Check it out here

I will say that there is nowhere near the volume of exceptional work being released these past couple of decades like there was during the 60's or 70's, or even the 80's - 90's. Especially when you consider the lyrics, which usually range from the trite to the unbearably bad (with exceptions!).

@wesheadley Unlike her previous LP, Lust For Life, which had no less than 17 different writing credits on it, Norman Fucking Rockwell! was another Jack Antonoff job.
I don’t dislike Lana Del Rey. Not my fave, but she’s alright.
Jack Antonoff…that’s another story.
His role, as I see it, is to take artists with talent and find a way to bland them up for mass consumption.
He must have good social skills or something. He’s curried the favor of many a top-selling artist (including Swift) and receives good words from each. I find the music he has worked on in a producer/co-writer capacity as well as his own stuff (whatever outfit that may be, Bleachers, solo, whatever) to largely be bland and lame. It seems he’s found a way to be considered some kind of svengali who somehow retains at least a modicum of street cred while making lame music that people with no taste think is good.
One of my favorite current artists, Annie Clark (St. Vincent) had made 4 knockout LPs (I consider two of them, Actor and St. Vincent, to be classics) before ’17’s Masseduction. I thought that one was a letdown. Whatever. A great artist is entitled to have a so-so one after four straight killers. The next one, ‘21’s Daddy’s Home, was another disappointment. This time, I did some research. Found the common denominator: Jack Antonoff. I then did some research on this Jack Antonoff character. Came to the conclusion he sucks.
I don’t have much skin in the game with the other artists he’s produced.
I was just listening to early ‘10s Lana and was reminded that it’s pretty good. It’s not like I’m gonna be pissed if her music starts to be lame. I don’t like it enough to be bothered. St. Vincent was different; once I realized he, based on his track record, may have largely been the reason St. Vincent’s music became more bland and lame, I was indeed pissed.
I really hope her next LP is Antonoff-free and returns to pre-Antonoff quality.

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