Last night I stopped by the record store after imbibing in a few pints of adult libations. While browsing, I spotted Lana Del Rey’s new album PARADISE and picked it up, mostly to make fun of it. I turned the CD over and the first thing I noticed was the song “Cola.” I really like that word for some reason and I thought it was a strange word to title a song. Was this song about soda? Did the word cola actually in the song? Theses and many other questions entered my mind.
I immediately announced that I was going to listen to this song when I got home. Of course, I forgot because I had a bunch of other stuff going on, but just before I went to bed I recalled Lana Del Rey and her soda-song. I fired up my Spotify app and played “Cola.”
I didn’t know what to expect when I hit play but I certainly wasn’t expecting “My pussy tastes like Pepsi cola, my eyes are wide like cherry pies, I gots [sic] a taste for men who are older.” I burst out laughing and hit rewind so I could listen again. When the song was over I played it again. Then I played it again. I texted my friend and told him he had to listen to “Cola,” that it was too funny/strange to dismiss.
Once the initial shock/glee of hearing a young woman breathlessly sing about how her pussy tastes like Pepsi cola wore off, I started to get angry. Why was this woman famous? Her image and album are everywhere! She’s a hack/phony/fraud. I thought about all the really great singers out there who would kill to have her level of exposure and how much better their songs probably are. It made me sick.
Then I sat back and tried to think about why I was so angry. Is it because “Cola” is a bad song? Well, no. “Cola” is actually a really good song, despite the strangeness of it. Then I thought, is it because she’s a bad singer? Again, no. Lana Del Rey may not be the world’s greatest singer, but she does have a unique, breathy-vocal style that isn’t unpleasant to hear. And in a world where everyone in the music business is trying to sound exactly the same, Lana Del Rey definitely has a unique sound. When one hears Lana Del Rey they immediately recognize that’s whom they’re hearing.
I realized that my confused feelings were the result of only one thing: art-pop. Lana Del Rey catches a lot of flack because she’s been marketed to us all as Adele when that’s not who she is. This is art-college let’s-all-shave-our-heads kind of stuff. As soon as I realized this, I started to wonder if her less-than-stellar SNL performance wasn’t some sort of performance-art stunt.
Now, I’m not saying that Lana Del Rey is some kind of genius. Don’t get me wrong, being weird for the sake of being weird can be lame and tiresome, but in small doses it’s fun. And that’s what “Cola” is, it’s a four minute dose of weird. I’m sure somewhere someone can explain her message, man. Al I know is, Lana Del Rey somehow convinced a lot of people to release a song in which she sings about how her pussy tastes like Pepsi Cola: if for no other reason that should earn her our respect. Fun fact, this song reached #22 on Billboards rock charts.
Awesome. Lana, you go girl.