I mean, it doesn't even look like she's trying. She's hitting the right notes, but with all the wrong pitches, going from deep gut voice to head voice with no smooth transition in between. It sounds like she's gulping for air at points. It sounds like she doesn't really know what she's doing, like those great studio takes that rocketed her to internet fame were just flukes, or maybe the result of a very, very patient trainer.
And then she looks bored. Not even nervous, like her defenders are calling it. She looks exactly like she'd rather be doing a line of coke off the edge of a stained bathroom sink somewhere. There's no sense of excitement, no jitters, no enthusiasm, just a listless loping around the stage. Sometimes she grabs at herself uncomfortably and at one point she points at the audience, but that's all the emoting we get out of Ms. Del Rey. It's like she just wants to get this all over with.
Like an alien impostor who just barely misses the subtleties of human mannerisms, Lana serves to highlight all the standards of her trade we normally ignore. She's made me realize all that we take for granted in a pop performance. I might be quick to complain that many a fledgling starlet gets rich off of singing other people's songs about emotions they've never felt, but I see now what it takes to sell even the most plastic of tunes. You can't just get up there and slug off some syllables in key if you're going to be a singer. You need to actually get up and perform. It's its own kind of theater and it's not something that comes naturally to most people. Even if none of your talent goes to the songs you sing, you need to funnel a fair amount toward the way you sing them.
So thanks, Lana, for at least convincing me that some of the more vile players in the pop world have something to be proud of. Sorry about your career, though. From the looks of it, you don't want it much anyway.