Lana Del Rey: Video Games Live

The studio version of “Video Games” has gone viral on its own merits, but the pop ballad has also permeated the blogosphere to the point that an inevitable sour-grapes backlash against its cryptic singer has begun. Reactions range roughly from “I love the song and couldn’t care less that she changed her name/lips” to “The song is overrated and Del Rey is a phony crafted by industry insiders.” The truth — from our vantage point —  is that both sides aren’t on point. Sparing readers the long version, I’ll simply say that opinions on fabricated back-stories and glamorized imagery seem to hinge on the entertainment value of the song itself. If you like it, you like her, and vice versa. Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and countless others have dealt with this precise predicament for decades. At the end of the day, Del Rey has an excellent and evocative voice (something even detractors refuse to reference) and she or her team have made one of the most memorable recordings of the year. Let’s move the conversation forward by throwing the “studio magic” argument out the window with her live take: