Nearly three weeks after a disastrous performance as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, Lana Del Rey drops her album Born to Die, catching the number one spot in eleven different countries. The Teflon chanteuse seems to have rebounded from a performance where she looked utterly inexperienced and in over her head.

It was the stage bomb that was heard around the world. A debacle and train wreck we couldn’t turn away from. At the time, I joked that the SNL performance was so bad, I had considered shutting The Superslice™ doors forever. The televised revelation of how much she was lacking in talent, skill and the capacity to execute, was so raw, it forced me to question my own credibility as a critic and authority. The sting of the failure was extra hearty because I was previously attempting to keep myself immune from the LDR hype. The times I would endorse her, it was apprehensive and half-hearted. I begrudgingly stuck up for her and she was taking away my currency as an opinionator with this choke. But I eventually succumbed to her gaze as if she were Medusa, even going to the extent of questioning why the Coachella committee left her off the buzzy bill. In retrospect, it looked like Coachella had done all the parties involved a huge favor.

We were in legitimate facepalm territory. I thought somebody on the SNL staff was getting canned for booking this ne’er-do-well; it was harsh. Surely, at minimum, her handlers would be fired for not properly preparing her? I recalled thinking it was so awful, uncomfortable and painful, I was actually feeling sorry for an industry-creation and privileged daughter of a multimillionaire. Honestly, I did feel sorry for her though. “At least she looked pretty and her lips didn’t look ridiculously inflated?”, I desperately scraped. I wondered if “art” was dead and if commerce had fully taken over. If I was more of a dramatic chap, I would have talked of tears, shame, and embarrassment concerning these fraudulent music industry machinations.

I had seen some footage of her performing live at the Troubador and she was decent. Then there’s this intimate live performance at the Chateau Marmont which is a pretty damn enchanting and romantic. I was at a loss, she was nervous as-all-hell on the show, you could tell. “She’s only 25 years old after all,” we reasoned. It was strangely awful though. LDR was out her element to say the least; resorting to this deep-husky-voice-thing while sounding like she was having a stroke with a mouth full of food. Juliette Lewis via Twitter aptly compared it to watching a 12 year-old in their bedroom when they’re pretending to sing and perform. Brian Williams, the following day, said it was one of the worst outings in SNL history.

(Note: This could possibly be sour grapes on Williams’ part. His daughter, Allison Williams, is also a singer and might be possibly more talented than LDR. Methinks there might be a bit of resentment by Proud/Envious Papa of the existence/manufacturing of LDR there.)

Young Lana looked clearly deflated after each performance on the SNL episode. She had dropped the ball in front of millions. Apparently, while the credits were rolling, when the SNL cast, guest stars Danielle Radcliffe and LDR, gathered at the conclusion, you could see Seth Meyers consoling a devastated LDR. He mouthed the words, “It wasn’t that bad.”

Ouch.

I surmised that it was going to be wholly damaging to her short career. I was dumbfounded, my friends were speechless, but then there’s the rest of the Internet. The Internet? The Internet…it’s brutal. The fallout was immediate and cruel. Lana Del Rey was a trend on Twitter for days after. Trolls hacked her Wikipedia (see highlighted portion of the screen cap below). Oh, how we love to pile on. What do they say? Build ’em up to tear ’em down? “There’s no way she’s bouncing back from this. I hope she does, but she’s not,” I said to myself.

LDR meekly tweeted, “I love you.” two days after.

And then Born to Die debuted…to mostly mixed reviews. Indie-hipster scion, Pitchfork torched it; basically giving it an ‘F’. Though, I’m convinced that they were skewed by the fallout and would have given Lizzie Grant (aka LDR) a ‘C+’ pre-fiasco; they had been LDR champions from the beginning up until the implosion. Fickle front-running assholes those ‘Forkers. But, who cares, right? LDR is numero uno in eleven different countries. And to help further cement her rebound, she just capped off a pretty all-right live performance last night, at the scene of the previous crime, New York City, this time on Late Show with David Letterman (see video at header). This was a day after Dave’s 30th Anniversary of his career. It is all quite charming, actually, Lana is beaming at the end, clearly elated that she has made it through without cracking up. You can see the weight being lifted off her shoulders at the finish. The usually dry and sarcastic Dave and bandleader Paul Shaffer are extra sweet and complimentary to her. It brought a smile to my face, this dude with the black heart.

Interscope has released the Born to Die sampler (below). You can stream 90 seconds of each of the fifteen tracks of the new album. What do you all think? Righteous, good, bad, forgettable? You tell me…

@teemunny

Clams Casino and Woodkid remixes:

Clumsy and awkward Lana Del Rey on performing live and the Coachella omission in this VH1 Exclusive Interview:

The two Saturday Night Live performances. Not as god-awful as I recall, but not good and pretty amateurish for SNL standards:



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Lana Del Rey SNL Postmortem Thread