Lana Del Ray’s album hasn’t been released yet, but she’s been blowing up the music blogosphere with people heralding her as nothing short of the second coming. Now, I will admit, that I kind of liked her song Video Games, but there is a big difference between sort of liking something and what was happening online. People were going crazy about her. Things posted about her that were positive far outnumbered the negative. Most of the negative seemed to deal with the fact that she’s somewhat a manufactured artist and lots of talk about how her appearance has changed since she was known as Lizzie Grant, mostly that her lips are now extra, extra full.
Last Saturday, she was slated to be the musical guest on SNL, again, before her album has even come out. Has this much hype EVER happened for a new artist? Not that I recall. I did not watch the show live. I saw the video of her performance for Video Games and was shocked at how horrible it was. I have never, ever seen such a terrible performance on SNL and that includes the debacle with Ashlee Simpson screwing up her lip syncing. Besides the vocals just being horrible and sounding a bit like a drunk karaoke performance, her performance was just listless and passionless and simply awful. Too much too soon for sure.
Watch the video below if you can. I haven’t watched her second performance from the night because frankly, I’m afraid for the health of my ears. But I’m curious to see what you think so let me know in the comments or over on the Rubyfruit Radio Facebook page.
I make no secret that I love Sarah Jaffe. Her last CD, Suburban Nature was one of my top 3 albums for 2010. She’s following up with the EP The Way Sound Leaves the Room, a CD/DVD collection of covers and demos. She views this as a gift while her fans anxiously await the release of her next full length album sometime in 2012. I love this collection of songs. Even though it’s covers, alternate versions, and demos, somehow, it just works. Below is my track by track review.
Shut it Down
I am not a fan of Drake. Since he burst onto the scene, I’ve said that he needs to go back to Degrassi (a Canadian soap opera of sorts geared towards teenagers that he was on). I find him arrogant, misogynistic , and all around annoying. I’ve heard his version of this song and hate it. That being said, I love this version Sarah has done. I am a big fan of covers, especially when they are unexpected and what’s more unexpected than a folky female singing the line “put those f—in’ heels on and work it girl”. The arrangement is fabulous and somehow, she’s managed to find an earnestness that Drake wouldn’t be able to find if you put it in front of him.
Louder Than Ever
This is a cover of the Cold War Kids whose original is fast paced and uptempo. Sarah Jaffe changed the arrangement and slowed it down and turned it into something breathtaking. This is my favorite track on the record.
Clementine (alternate version)
The song Clementine is what drew me to Sarah Jaffe in the first place. I heard the song and immediately fell in love with her and her sound. This is an interesting version of the song. Instead of being focused on guitars, the arrangement has been switched up to be piano driven. Her voice as usual shows a great deal of emotion.
Better Than Nothing (outro-demo)
Lyric free but full of texture.
The Way Sound Leaves a Room (demo)
Layered and brooding. And as expected from Sarah, amazing.
When You Rest (demo)
Sarah seems to be taking a jazzy approach. It shows her evolving. I can’t wait to hear this one done on the full length album.
A Sucker for Your Marketing (demo)
Layered with drums and clear voice. This song is the single from the EP and with good reason. I find it similar to some of the songs from Suburban Nature, but think that when it’s redone for the full length release, it is going to be an amazing song.
All That Time (demo)
Sarah Jaffe said “I wanted to write a really short intro to Clementine, but also kind of tip my hat to it I suppose. ” On The Way Sound Leaves a Room, it’s the closing track even though it was written as an intro for Clementine and it even ends with Clementine’s opening guitar riff. Somehow it just works being the closer. Like there is something going on here that we’re not going to find out about and I cannot wait.
Overall, this is a great record. I’ve listened to it a lot and like it a little more each time I hear it. However, it makes me extremely anxious to see what the next album is going to sound like.
What is Rubyfruit Radio?
Rubyfruit Radio is a podcast devoted to playing the best in female artists and female fronted bands.