Lana Del Rey – Doin’ Time

“I genuinely thought, ha, someone’s doing a really good Lana Del Rey impression and is using it on a completely inappropriate track.”

Tom: Have you ever had a moment, Tim, when you look at the world’s reaction to a track and think that something is terribly wrong?

Tim: Tom, we run a site largely dedicated to Europop, and are frequently fans of songs that end up at the bottom of the Eurovision table. Believe it or not, I have had many such moments.

Tom: Well, anyway. You know the old Gershwin classic “Summertime”? Jazz standard, probably the canonical version’s by Ella Fitzgerald, you know, the one that goes “summertime, and the living is easy”? It’d be a logical choice for Lana Del Rey to cover. It fits her style perfectly.

Tim: Correct. But she hasn’t?

Tom: She hasn’t. She’s covered Sublime’s 1997 highly-modified reggae cover.

Tim: That…is a lot better than I was worried it’d be, given how you sold it.

Tom: The world loves it. I’m driving through the US, it’s on the radio, the DJ’s describing it as the song of the summer. Positive review after positive review is cited in the Wikipedia article for it, and while some of that may be selective quoting due to the label’s PR team, those reviews were still written.

Tim: I wouldn’t disagree with so many of them – I think it’s alright. Doesn’t hugely push my buttons, but it’s a nice tropical vibe, which fits a current day summer style.

Tom: I thought it was a parody. I genuinely thought, ha, someone’s doing a really good Lana Del Rey impression and is using it on a completely inappropriate track. Even now, I’m not entirely convinced that this isn’t just someone’s idea of a joke that got out of hand.

Lana Del Rey feat. A$AP Rocky, Playboi Carti – Summer Bummer

“That is a bloody awful title.”

Tom: That is a bloody awful title.

Tim: Can’t disagree with you there. We’ve previously had Summertime Sadness, with a slight lack of love for the season; big question is whether there’s been any change of heart yet. (Spoilers: no, and this contains strong language throughout.)

Tim: Now, I’ll be honest, I didn’t actually think it was possible for Lana to get any more miserable. And yet, somehow, she manages it. It’s rare for me to welcome the appearance of a guest rapper, as we all know, but at least here it breathes life into the song. The whole thing…I don’t know.

Tom: Well, it’s a style, certainly. And there are some absolutely beautiful moments in here: that piano backing, pretty much all the pre-chorus and the first part of middle eight, and… hmm. Well, not the big parts of the song.

Tim: I don’t know if she regrets painting herself into a corner with the “yeah, I sound miserable, live with it”, but I can’t help thinking it means some songs just don’t work.

The main line “don’t be a bummer babe, be my undercover lover babe” would be fine, if it actually sounded like she wanted him to stop him being a bummer.

Tom: I just sounds wrong every time for me. It’s a silly word in the middle of such a dark song.

Tim: But that’s the thing – lyrically, it’s not dark. Give it the music it deserves, and it’d be fine. As it is, it sounds like she wants him to join her in the bath as she picks up the toaster, and I really don’t think this works.