The LDR/Smiths Connection

Melancholy is a sentiment that can be difficult to convey in a manner that others are able to find resonant or even take seriously. The Smiths became one of the pioneers of manufacturing sadness on a mass scale that reverberated across the globe. After their breakup in 1987, Morrissey did his best to fill the void of gloom in the absence of The Smiths with albums like Viva Hate and Vauxhall and I. But the art of mirthlessness has been given a modern upgrade by one, Lana Del Rey.

Morrissey and Marr
Morrissey and Marr
While many maintain that Lana Del Rey is all shtick and zero substance, the intensity of her lyrics reveal a sadness (both summertime and regular) that hasn’t been as pervasive since The Smiths came onto the scene. Laments such as, “I’m tired of feeling like I’m fucking crazy/I’m tired of driving till I see stars in my eyes/It’s all I’ve got to keep myself sane, baby/So I just ride, I just ride, I just ride,” elucidate LDR’s feelings of isolation and an inability to relate with most other people. This is a running theme throughout most of her songs, in addition to pining over a lost love.

In this respect, The Smiths and LDR share slightly different perspectives on lugubriousness, as, with Morrissey, the love he talks about is always much vaguer, and seems to apply more generally to all forms of sexuality. Del Rey’s yearnings are clearly and decidedly straight. Nonetheless, she is the twenty-first century solution to a world without new Smiths music. Take it or leave it. Though I would strongly suggest you take it if you hate your life with the burning passion of a thousand suns.