[Lana Del Rey] is representing and speaking to a contradiction facing thousands of young women today, women who have followed mainstream society’s prescriptions for success in what has been called a post-feminist world, but who find that real liberation and genuine satisfaction elude them.
The Meaning of Lana Del Rey: Pop culture, post-feminism and the choices facing young women today, by Catherine Vigier
The album art eschews the put-on ’60s glamour of Born to Die for a more stripped-down, all-American jeans-and-white-tee combo. The image of Lana exiting a luxury car and staring into the camera is unsettling, like the last photo ever taken of someone before they mysteriously disappear. “Who is Lana Del Rey?” — which has echoes of “Who killed Laura Palmer?” — is the question that echoes through her work.” The Lana Del Rey persona contains a plethora of micro-personae: a poor little rich girl who has everything but happiness, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who leverages her sex appeal into upper-class success, a naive minx, a jaded femme fatale. The Lana character of Ultraviolence suspects that sadness might be endemic to her spirit. Lana songs are like Cindy Sherman’s early film stills, depicting scenes in the lives of mysterious female protagonists.