Summer of 2013 can more or less be summed up with three songs--Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," Icona Pop's "I Love It" and Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness." All three tunes are a little grim--"Blurred Lines" can be interpreted as glorifying rape, Icona Pop has no problem with trashing her car, and Lana is fine with driving 99 MPH and dying on the freeway. But hey, they're all catchy songs, so that's all that matters, right?
Lana Del Rey is a polarizing musician and it's easy to dislike her. Songs like "Video Games" sound like a second rate Joanna Newsom trying to win over the World of Warcraft contingent.
But a certain remix of "Summertime Sadness" helped change my mind about her.
A few months ago, one of my best friends asked why I hated Lana Del Rey. I shared my dislike of "Video Games" and how LDR is the embodiment of the pouty-faced H&M hipster girl. The former Miss Lizzy Grant seemed very gimmicky to me, though admittedly, I had never listened to Born to Die. Said friend proclaimed, "Lana is love!" and described her music as "fruity" before introducing me to "National Anthem."
Yes, it is a very fruity song, and it got stuck in my head for hours, but it still wasn't enough for me to consider listening to the album. "Summertime Sadness"--a remix of it, at least--was.
A few weeks ago, it seemed like I heard Cedric Gervais' remix of "Summertime Sadness" everywhere. I have no shame in admitting that house music with pop vocals is fun, but this song gave it a new twist. Lana's mopey voice can be pretty boring with slow songs, but it works surprisingly well with a fast paced beat.
The lyrics aren't that imaginative, but most gals can relate to Lana getting dolled up with her high heels and big, beauty queen hair. Most great, memorable summer nights are based on a feeling--yeah, yeah, that cliché first popped up in Grease--but think about it.
Even though Phoenix summers are excruciating, there's something magical about night swims, road trips, and a well-executed Fourth of July.
Cedric Gervais and Lana Del Rey capture that sensation in three-and-a-half minutes. The song is best heard late at night through a car stereo with the windows down, because unlike what the song title suggests, it is not a sad song.
This remix celebrates all that is great about the summer in one short, sweet and very danceable package. Even if you're a Lana-hater, I recommend checking out this remix--sparklers and ice cream are optional (but encouraged).
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After falling in love with this remix, I finally listened to Born to Die in its entirety and was pleasantly surprised. I still think "Video Games" is lame and Lana Del Rey is the prime example of a "love to hate" musician, but "Diet Mountain Dew" is incredibly fun and catchy--the perfect type of song to listen to on a rare, temperate summer day.