Lana Del Rey’s “National Anthem” Video: Review Revue

Jun 28th, 2012 // 15 Comments
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Give Lana Del Rey credit for knowing how to keep us all wagging our tongues over her. The singer teamed up with A$AP Rocky to portray Jackie Kennedy and President John F. Kennedy, respectively, in the Born To Die diva’s video for “National Anthem”. Controversy? What controversy? Right. Naturally the seven-minute-and-40-second epic has critics eager to dissect the clip: some are in awe; some are annoyed; some are just downright scratching their heads in confusion. See how the Internet at large reacted to Del Rey’s latest visual below, then let us know your own thoughts on the “National Anthem” vid.

:: The Hollywood Reporter figures “National Anthem” will keep people guessing: “Del Rey has a penchant for tempting and confounding the American public, starting with her meteoric rise out of Brooklyn to her panned Saturday Night Live performance and on through her choke-happy ‘Blue Jeans’ single art, to name but a few. Still a mysterious figure, this video should only enhance her intrigue, so tender is the national reflex when it comes to its revered figures from the past.”

:: Entertainment Weekly quips, “It’s like a Brooks Brothers catalog, if Brooks Brothers catalogs included dreadlocked rappers from Harlem and blog-baiting reenactments of presidential assassinations.”

:: SugarScape ignores the JFK theme and focuses more on what’s going on, um, behind the scenes: “We are usually fairly confused by Lana’s wacky videos but luckily this one speaks in a language we understand: bum gropes. If you don’t believe us, join with us to observe the fondle-fest.”

:: SPIN offers this assessment: “Though deftly assembled by director Anthony Mandler, the emotional tenor of this clip is unavoidably cartoonish by comparison, bringing to mind the fact it was that old, unglamorous bastard LBJ — the cranky Texan responsible for so many deaths in the Vietnam War — who fulfilled Kennedy’s legacy by passing the Civil Rights Act, Medicare, and the rest of his Great Society program. Money is money is money is money.”

:: Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times feels the video falls short of living up to its very own implications: “Give Lana Del Rey this much credit: She knows how to get press. Yet her latest ploy — playing the roles of Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy in the video for her song ‘National Anthem’ — is curiously naive… Though there are lovingly framed shots of A$AP Rocky and Del Rey as our nation’s first interracial couple in the White House, there’s no attempt to show us the actual true-to-life ramifications of such roles in the view of some of the American public, especially with A$AP Rocky playing the part of a beloved political figure during the civil rights era.”

:: Ology doesn’t seem to be a fan of the clip: “All the same hip-hop meets old Hollywood meets male dependence ideas are here, but it’s married with a narrative through-line that approaches well-worn American iconography with a new and mostly interesting take on post-war decadence. That’s the fancy way of saying, ‘They needed a video for ‘National Anthem’ and JFK is the first thing that popped into their heads.’”

:: According to MTV Buzzworthy, “The whole thing is bizarre, heavily dramatic and tragically beautiful. So basically, the video is Lana Del Rey with A$AP added in for extra gangster Nancy Sinatra sex appeal.”

:: Finally, NBC sums it all up with this: “At the risk of hyperbole, Lana Del Rey’s music video for her new single ‘National Anthem’ offers conclusive proof that everything is weird and nothing will be normal ever again.”

What are your own thoughts on Lana’s new video? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter!

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  1. John

    Its spectacular and if you think otherwise I’d put you in the 98% norm of America who can’t think for themselves.

  2. Carl

    i loved the video. The video just fits the lyrics, it’s all about two people in love in a greed world. And the fact that she put this guy to play JFK it’s just too genius

    • Konsolata

      thank you so much..i totally agree with you..its called creative ingenuity..i don’t think the public is too concerned with what the critics choose to infer from the video.. but are rather amazed by how such a historic moment was conceptualized.

  3. Scott

    Have a look at MTV’s and VHR’s reviews. It’s much more insightful in which they look at this clip as a music video rather than another “Lana” clip. Our judgements are often misguided when we have preconceived ideas of who the artist is. It’s quite tragic, the way people judge her rather than her works.
    http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1688535/lana-del-ray-asap-rocky-national-anthem-video.jhtml
    http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1688562/exclusive-lana-del-reys-national-anthem-director-tells-all.jhtml
    http://www.vh1.com/music/tuner/2012-06-27/lana-del-rey-and-aap-rocky-are-the-new-age-love-story-in-national-anthem/

  4. I really don’t think Lana gives a flying f*** what the US thinks any more…and who can blame her? It must have been soul destroying being put through such a shower of sh*t as was thrust upon her by people who really should know better. It’s not like the rest of the world doesn’t love her and appreciate her talent (her album is currently the 3rd best selling album worldwide so who actually needs US acceptance?).

    A talent her homeland is forcing out. You’ll live to regret it one day.

    • Jules

      Well said. She is an amazing talent that is overlooked. She is an artist who actually writes most, if not all of her songs. She doesn’t need strobe lights, or back up dancers, or some ridiculous gimmick. She is talented through and through and also a very kind, beautiful and gracious person. She truly appreciates her fans.
      Having listened to a recent interview with BBC Radio1 she stated that she feels more accepted in Europe, she has been well received and very supported there. It is really a sad thing, we don’t support our artists, they are built up and torn down.
      Unless you can classify an artist as ‘pop’ you really have no chance in music. It’s sad.

  5. Sir

    Oh god! but if it was lady gaga instead of lana everyone would have gone nuts about it! SHAME FOR THEM!
    I enjoyed the video a lot and made me actually like the song which before the video I thought it was way too silly…

  6. mileyismylife

    The video is beautiful, despite what the critics say.
    Lana looks stunning, the video is shot perfectly, and the emotion that this video has is just amazing.
    No clue why critics are panning it, it’s the JFK story with a Lana Del Rey twist.

    • Just what is being said shows the age of people not quite understanding the impact of using a horrible true-life event such as the assassination of a president as fodder for amusement.

  7. drakexhall

    I think the critics are really one dimensional because they only judge what’s in front of their eyes and not analyze the entire piece.

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  9. Naomi

    I honestly think this has to be her best video yet. At first, I really wasn’t a fan of Lana, but I like her videos. They’re different and very simple. I really don’t know why some critics are panning it. From what I’m reading, a lot of people are liking it. I didn’t really like her album at first listen, but I may consider listening to it again. I may be a converted fan.

  10. Just look at the like sidebar on YT: 36.892 liked x 1598 disliked.

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