Today Lana Del Rey releases Ultraviolence, her second full-length studio album, and despite the A Clockwork Orange–inspired title, it arrives in a more placid world than her first. Nowhere to be found are the nasty takedowns from the first go-around; the anti-Lana ringleader hipsterrunoff.com hasn’t been updated since November; plastic surgery and the origin of her name are no longer popular topics of water cooler gossip. Leveler-headed arbiters seem to have prevailed.
Somewhat counter-intuitively, corporate sponsorship was the only way she could shake off those original accusations of selling out. Little more than eight months after the January 2012 release of her first album Born to Die, she was at an H&M party, standing on a makeshift stage in the lower Manhattan night club The Wooly. Wearing a little black dress, she sang the cover “Blue Velvet” that had been commissioned by the giant Swedish fashion retailer. She proceeded to star in the TV commercial the brand hired Johan Renck to direct, and pose for the fall print advertising campaign shot by Inez and Vinoodh, and then the Holiday campaign photographed by Sølve Sundsbø.
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Album of the year tbh.