Tasty Tracks of 2012: Born to Die by Lana Del Rey

It seems fitting that I conclude my favorite track reviews with Lana Del Rey's "Born to Die," the title song from the singer-songwriter's major label debut. While I did not love the album as a whole, it was the first interesting and exciting release of the year, and this track in particular encapsulates what works in Del Rey's music. The song mixes hip-hop beats, swelling strings, and the singer's now iconically languid vocals. I like this track best of the many singles the singer released because it tempers its melancholy with some hope, like when Del Rey sings, "Don't make me sad / Don't make me cry / Sometimes love is not enough / And the road gets tough / I don't know why / Keeping making me laugh." Here, the persona the artist has created shows more strength and determination than on other tracks; mind you, this is relative, but that hint of hope mixed with a catchy production makes this one the most solid pop offerings of the year.

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