Lana Del Ray’s songs are not only musically interesting; they also tell stories of love and loss. She has a distinctive, instantly recognizable voice. Since her debut album in 2012, she has become one of the most successful musicians in music. With influences as varied as Frank Sinatra, Eminem, and Amy Winehouse, Lana Del Rey has a varied catalog of songs for fans to explore.
Here are 20 of her best songs.
Born to Die
Born to Die is the first and title single of Lana Del Rey’s album, “Born to Die.” This song was written by James Franco, who also stars in the music video as Lana’s lover. The song begins with a breathy delivery as Lana states that she wishes not to be taken seriously for everything she has said.
From there, Lana tells her lover that life couldn’t get any better because of him and that they will survive all of their problems. She then describes walking around Paris with him and how perfect the world seems when they’re together.
At this point, a string orchestra joins in before going back into a reprise of Lana singing about what life would be like if it were always summer.
This song was written by Lana Del Rey, Emile Haynie, and Rick Nowels. The song begins with a piano introduction in which Lana tells her lover that she will love him for all of his life. She then continues by singing about how blue jeans are better than any dress she could wear.
From there, Lana describes being rich in love while poor in other factors that result from not having money. At this point, the beat kicks up into a higher gear as Lana’s vocals become clearer and more audible.
From this perspective, we can see that Lana also sings about having trouble letting go because she knows that doing so means death to their relationship.
Dark Paradise is the third single off Lana Del Rey’s album, “Born to Die.” Lana Del Rey and Rick Nowels wrote this song. The song begins with a piano introduction before going into the first verse, in which Lana sings about being unhappy at her lover’s house because she feels lonely there.
At this point, Lana tells her lover that if he’s not going to love her, then nobody will, saying that she has no luck when it comes to relationships even though she tries every day to find somebody new to love her. From there, the beat picks up a little bit as her vocals become a little more upbeat.
In the chorus, Lana tells her lover that even though she’s been miserable for so long, she still feels lucky because their love is dark, yet it seems to be all that she has.
Diet Mountain Dew
Lana Del Rey and Rick Nowels wrote this song. The song begins with a slower beat in which Lana describes going out every day while trying to get her lover back. She then sings about how she has no more tears left to cry over him because even though he hurt her repeatedly, she still loves him till death does them part.
At this point, the tempo begins to pick up as her vocals become more proficient.
In the chorus, Lana tells her lover that many other women love him and that it would be nice if they all got along because, after all, they’ll always have each other. After all, there’s no other man that could love her for who she is.
The song begins with a slower beat in which Lana describes being an American girl while also describing how it feels to be desired by others.
She then sings about having more problems than most people can handle while still maintaining her composure during tough times.
At this point, the tempo begins to pick up as her vocals become more proficient while some horns join in in the background. In the chorus, Lana sings about how she doesn’t know what to do because she’s just a girl, and sometimes her life can be pretty shitty.
The song begins with a slow piano introduction in which Lana describes being sad while it’s sunny outside, so she decides to take pills because they make her numb enough to forget about her sadness.
At this point, the tempo picks up as her vocals become more proficient.
In the chorus, Lana tells her lover that he can’t hurt her anymore and that she won’t be sad for them anymore. She then sings about spending time with someone new while reminiscing on old memories of love gone wrong with an old flame from the summer past that will always have a place in her heart.
Young and Beautiful
The song begins with a slow piano introduction in which Lana describes her lover as being young and beautiful before he goes off to war, where she wonders if they will still love each other when he gets back. She then sings about how time is changing everything and doesn’t know how to deal with the changes.
At this point, the tempo picks up as her vocals become more proficient while the beat becomes more upbeat. Lana sings about not knowing what to do in the chorus because things are so uncertain, but she’s still hopeful about the future.
She then continues by singing about how life is like a play and that the better she gets, the more she’ll rise to fame, allowing her love interest always to be proud of her.
The song begins with a slow piano beat in which Lana describes playing video games all day long while still thinking about her lover even though she can’t be with him because it would end up hurting him.
At this point, the beat begins to pick up as her vocals become more proficient and just before the first chorus, some drums begin to play along with the piano, which then continues into the next few lines where Lana sings about how life can be just like a game because she’ll win either way even if it breaks her heart so she might as well be happy.
In the chorus, Lana tells her lover that it’s okay because life is like a video game, and she’ll hit start and select before hitting reset so she can play with him again or even pass go and collect 200 dollars if he wants to keep playing with her memories.
She then continues singing about how time is flying by and how she needs to make the most out of her time because she knows that it will all end when he gets married one day, even though she knows he will never love anyone as he loves her. She then sings about how life is just a game and that time is ticking before repeating the chorus one last time.
The song begins with a slow beat in which Lana describes having an addiction to her lover even though she knows it’ll break her heart because she gets high from being so high off of him before going into detail about all of her other addictions related to her lover.
At this point, the beat starts to pick up as her vocals become more proficient while singing about her addiction problems. She then sings about how she needs him to live because he gives her the strength to carry on before describing how butterflies explode in her stomach every time their hands touch.
In the chorus, Lana tells her lover that she’ll follow him to the end of the Earth and back before singing about how without a doubt, in her mind that he is the only drug she needs. At this point, drums begin to play along with a piano, leading to Lana repeating the first two lines from the verse one last time.
She then sings about being in love with someone even though it hurts her, but she can’t help herself because he is all she wants.
The song begins with an orchestra playing in the background to set the tone for yet another song about Lana’s lover. At this point, drums begin to play along with a slow piano beat that continues into the next verse in which she sings about her lover being able to understand her because he can relate to her past experiences.
She then sings about how everyone else doesn’t get it because they’re too caught up in their own lives to notice what’s happening in her. At this point, the beat starts to pick up as she describes how when she’s with him, she feels like she is living the high life but that if things don’t work out, then he’ll just become another memory in her past.
In the chorus, she tells her lover that he can take his time to leave because she doesn’t mind staying in the past with memories of him. She then continues by singing about how they have everything together but at the same time nothing at all before repeating the chorus one last time.
It is always a dangerous game to give a song a title like The Greatest but it worked for Lana Del Rey. This 2019 song is based around a chorus stating Del Rey needs to turn on the radio and listen to a pop song. The song transforms from a stately piano-led tune to a wall of sound featuring an expletive-driven chorus.
As usual, Lana Del Rey is thinking about popular culture in the past and the present. The Beach Boys are namechecked, along with Kanye West. The recent wildfires in California show the devotion to social issues that remains in the music of Lana Del Rey. The Greatest takes a classic 1960s girl group hook and transforms it into a song reflecting the current social and environmental climate.
Hope is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me To Have – But I Have It
2019 was a great year for Lana Del Rey, with the release of the Norman Fucking Rockwell album. Hope is a Dangerous Thing For a Woman Like Me To Have – But I Have It is a song that gives her fans a glimpse into life as a musical phenomenon in the 21st-century.
Accompanied by a piano, Del Rey takes us on a journey through her life up to 2019. The power of the song is found in the melancholy nature of the melody mirroring the lyrics she is singing.
One of the impressive aspects of the artistry of Lana Del Rey is her ability to act as a role model for her fans. The body of Hope is a Dangerous Thing For a Woman Like Me To Have – But I Have It is about looking back at the heartbreak she has been through. The final stanza offers hope that Lana is hopeful about the future despite her unhappiness.
The evolution of Lana Del Rey has taken a decade to come to the artist claiming her artistry. The muted vocals that have characterized the work of Del Rey since 2019s Norman Fucking Rockwell have been tossed aside in favor of a return to the power and projection of her early work.
Again, Blue Banisters strips back the production to its bare minimum. The cinematic quality of the work of Lana Del Rey remains in 2021, with her voice returning to the fore.
In 2017, Lana Del Rey returned to the hip-hop beats that had marked her out as a new kind of pop star. The return of her long-time collaborators, Benny Blanco, Emile Haynie, and Rick Nowels excited fans and saw Del Rey return to her best form.
The cinematic feel of Love and the Lust for Life album are easy to see. As the lead single from the album, Love is an inspiring song about love overcoming all.
Chemtrails Over The Country Club
Americana has always featured heavily in the work of Lana Del Rey, with Chemtrails Over the Country Club capturing this perfectly.
The breathy style that had marked the work of Del Rey for her last few albums remains in pace for a song about the classic American Dream. The descent into the horror of the music video gives a Lynchian view of Americana as being as problematic as ever.
Continuing with Jack Antonoff as writer and producer of the Chemtrails Over the Country Club album added a different dimension to the work of Lana Del Rey. Joan Baez described the album as a departure from her earlier angst-ridden songs that had focused on the negative energy of Los Angeles.
The sense of exposure and autobiographical nature of the song provides a glimpse into the dark side of finding fame.
Mariners Apartment Complex
Showing vulnerability has been an important part of the life and work of Lana Del Rey. Mariners Apartment Complex flips the script by telling a story of Del Rey caring for another person in mental distress.
Del Rey and Jack Antonoff craft a beautiful ode to friendship based around Del Rey taking the lead in a relationship.
Wild At Heart
This sweet love song is the perfect way to hear the high-pitched refrain of Lana Del Rey. The lyrics of the song reflect the playful nature of the song, which includes the lines about feeling wild at heart and loving her like polka dots.
The mellowing of Lana Del Rey during the COVID-19 pandemic has added another level to her artistry. However, even in this beautiful song, a few deeper tones add a sense of mystery to the song.
Lust For Life
For fans who were worried Lana Del Rey had forgotten her roots in old Hollywood folklore, Lust For Life is a reminder of her love of the period. The song begins with the story of Peg Entwhistle, who dies by falling from the H of the Hollywood sign. The Weeknd adds a touch of pop royalty to a mid-tempo classic.
Looking for America
The single, Looking for America was written about two mass shootings in 2019. Lana Del Rey explains how the dream of America has changed over the last 20 years. The idealized version of America she retains in her mind has been replaced by one filled with violence and death. There is hope in the lyrics that Del Rey still believes her version of the American Dream is available.
Born and raised in Austin, David is a dedicated writer and avid fragrance lover. When he's not trying out perfumes, he enjoys traveling and exploring new restaurants.