Lana Del Rey — Queen of Coney Island and peaceful witch inhabiting the H in the Hollywood sign — is not only born to die, but born to be a soundtrack siren: The Great Gatsby, Maleficent, Big Eyes…the list goes on and on.
Accordingly, the Lust For Life chanteuse has once again blessed our ears with another cinematic selection – another classic, and perhaps her most homosexual to date: a cover of Madonna, Queen of Pop.
But what track from Her Madgesty’s blessed catalog? “Spanish Lesson”? “I’m Going Bananas”? “B-Day Song”? Nay: a rendition of “You Must Love Me” from 1996’s film version of Evita, as part of Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s massive new collection to celebrate his five decade-long career: Andrew Lloyd Webber Unmasked: The Platinum Collection.
An aching, close-to-death ballad? Extremely out of Lana’s wheelhouse, I know.
“Andrew Lloyd Webber has been one of my primary inspirations in music, so to do a cover of one of his songs is a dream. I especially love this particular song, ‘You Must Love Me,’ because of how unique the melody is. I’ve been incredibly inspired by all of Andrew’s work from Phantom of the Opera to Evita,” Lana said to The Guardian.
“Lana Del Rey sings beautifully, and with a haunting echo, over the simple piano accompaniment. Singer and song express neediness, devotion, bravery and command, all at once, a clever, seemingly effortless trick of Rice’s syntax,” said Andrew.
Without getting too concerned with comparisons: Lana’s take, true to Lana, is more tender, dreamy and haunting, as though Evita’s already resigned to crossing over into the Great Beyond. Madonna’s version, true to Madonna, is far more dramatic and urgent. And enunciated.
It’s a win all around, and further proof that Lana’s true purpose on planet Earth is to sing all of the soundtracks.
Lana’s “You Must Love Me” was released on March 5. (iTunes)
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Photo credits: Neil Krug / Steven Meisel for Vogue