Lana Del Rey Performs on Letterman, Isn’t So Bad!

02/03/2012 8:40 AM |

So I guess this is when people start saying that Lana Del Rey’s handlers and image consultants and lawyers and rich fathers coached her on the art of the televised performance. After the SNL debacle from a few weeks back, LDR gave it another go last night on Late Night With David Letterman with a performance of “Video Games.” To say the very least, she sounded better: she all but did away with the ridiculous and infuriating baby-voice, and she wisely let the vocal melody sit in a range where she’s comfortable, rather than taking it higher and lower than she’s actually capable of, a trap she’d fallen deeply into of late. There were some really nice moments throughout—the small adjustments she’s made to the song’s melody are subtle and perfect for the stripped down arrangement. She seemed more comfortable this time around, and she was perfectly grateful and gracious when Dave and Paul started creepily fawning over her at the end. In short, if my parents had seen this performance, they probably would have though nothing of it it, maybe even liked it a little bit, rather than watching in horror and then calling me up the next morning for an explanation like they did after SNL. This is progress. Granted, it’s the kind of progress one generally makes before appearing on Saturday Night Live and Letterman, but it’s progress all the same.

One Comment

  • I think another thing that is much better here than on SNL is the tv direction. Notice the first shot when the lyric kicks in, something like 38 seconds long tracking shot into a close-up. On SNL it was I think 13 seconds. Most takes here are 20 seconds long, (though they get shorter as the song goes on), but on SNL average take was 4 to 5 seconds long! Also more close-ups on the face here, on SNL long shots which accentuated that awkward posing/dancing of hers. On Letterman you have the video director doing the things that fit the song/performance, which we didnt get on SNL.

    Also better here: the arrangement – the solo piano opening the song is just perfect, and that extra bit of reverb / echo on the vocal make a big difference too.