Last night, Lana Del Rey made her U.S. television debut on Saturday Night Live. By many accounts, she “bombed.”
Was it her best live performance? No, I don’t think so. Her voice was kind of warbly and all over the place, she did a lot of nervous swaying, spinning around and overly literal interpretative hand gestures (pointing to her head, outstretching two fingers for “two”). She just couldn’t quite ever seem to sit still–on a note or the stage.
Watching her live performances over the past few months, it seems as though she’s still struggling to balance singer-songwriter Lizzy Grant with the husky-voiced bombshell persona of Lana Del Rey, resulting in the curious mixture we saw last night.
Perhaps, as Peter of PopJustice pointed out on Twitter earlier, she should maintain a bit more mystery about her rather than agreeing to such high-profile appearances. Lana does Lana Del Rey best in a controlled setting–the handmade video clips, the singing in the studio, the photo shoots which allow her to maintain full control.
Still, unlike most of the people mercilessly slamming her, I actually enjoyed the performances. I kind of love her weird, nervous energy, and I don’t think her vocals are all that different from the studio versions of the songs (well, when she’s maintaining one voice anyway.) In fact, I thought she sounded great for the most part! A little more time spent polishing her presence (and building her confidence) would go a long, long way.
Lana’s like a throwback to another era, recalling bits and pieces of Nancy Sinatra, Nico (watch “Femme Fatale”), Amanda Lear and Marianne Faithfull (watch “Broken English”) from many moons ago–not Jessie J.
But then again, perhaps I’m just a Lana apologist.