Monday, January 16, 2012

Marina Del Ray

I don't really get all the hating on Lana Del Ray happening on the Twitters for her performance on Saturday Night Live. Well, I think I do get it -- and I think it's misdirected.
The first thing which was a tad cringe-inducing is that she really looked nervous. Scared, even.

But you know, she can actually sing. This isn't a matter of opinion. You might like or dislike her voice. You might like or dislike her style or her songs. But she has control over how she hits notes. So she can actually do it. (I don't hear the common artifacts of Auto Tune on this performance, although that's possible for broadcast.)
I think the thing many people were reacting to was that the shtick that was going on was a very chanteuse - style of performing artist. And you know, SNL does not put up with someone singing to background tracks very well, so there kinda has to be a live band. (Yes, it's possible that the band was playing to a click-track and she was lip syncing to a played-back vocal performance, but in any case this is a perfectly good vocal performance so let's just pretend for this argument that those things are off the table.)
But the band was very deliberately un-lit.
And I think the psychological effect was that the relatively unknown artist was being just a bit too much and up-front. If they'd put the keyboard player down on the stage and had her singing with him I think that people would have been vastly more charitable to her performance.
Well, and maybe the mix was done too loud: that tends to make the vocals too hot in the mix. Now, her vocals are very loud in the album-version of her material. But but but I think the keyboards are a bit buried in the SNL version.
Actually maybe it's not an awesome arrangement for the live performance of this song?
So say I. So say we All.

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