Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

500 Words of January – Jennifer Gannon

“It’s about the indefinable, the intangible delirium that all good popstars bring, that heady scent of something great”: Jennifer Gannon pays tribute to Lana Del Rey’s debut album, the one scorned by many in 2012. Let’s get 2013 ready! Let’s …

Wed, Jan 9, 2013, 14:00


“It’s about the indefinable, the intangible delirium that all good popstars bring, that heady scent of something great”: Jennifer Gannon pays tribute to Lana Del Rey’s debut album, the one scorned by many in 2012.

Let’s get 2013 ready! Let’s get excited about some baby mouthed, zygote bands, tripping over ourselves to congratulate them on the half-song we kind of heard at a festival that time. Let’s win this race and be the first to like everything, the first to recommend everything, the first to list it all and catalogue it all before anyone else, until it has no meaning and you begin to hate said bands by January 2nd. Fun isn’t it?

Instead, why don’t we just calm down a bit and have a look at what went before. There’s no shame in still enjoying something even if it’s not the newest, glitziest kid on the block. The unknown thrills and promise of the new has left some acts like discarded dolls in the toy box.

The foreign land of January 2012 was a place where no-one knew that a song that was ostensibly Peter Gabriel in face-paint would be soundtracking our daily Spar trips. A place where Rihanna was only on album 29 and had not yet hijacked a plane or rolled a joint on someone’s head. It was a place where people were genuinely excited about the thoughts of Lana Del Rey’s debut album.

Ms. Del Rey, the popstar that the blogosphere wanted to capture in their own Wickerman (made with bits of Justin Vernon’s beard) and force her to admit to her horrendous crime of not being ‘authentic’. Then “Born to Die” was released and slowly, but predictably, the endless scrutiny and fuss they made over a popstar became embarrassing so they moved on, satisfied that her hype-mission had failed, her ill-fated Saturday Night Live appearance sealed the deal for them. She was over before she began.

Thankfully for some, it wasn’t just about the grainy Super 8 clips of “Video Games”, the David Lynch posturing and the pout that made Angelina insecure. For some, it didn’t matter if she’d fallen out of the Hollywood sign and hitchhiked her way to stardom or had fallen out of some industry party primed for the big time. It’s about the indefinable, it’s about the intangible delirium that all good popstars bring; that heady scent of something great. The way your heart rushes up to meet your mouth when the intro of “Video Games” whirs into life, timeless wonder is etched into its very notes.

For those who waited for the fickle to just blog off, they had found something they could surrender to. It was there in the dog days of summer, it was still there when Grimes went cartwheeling by in her luminous leotard, it was even there when the “Paradise” edition of “Born to Die” was released with its ‘now with extra added sultriness FREE!’ commercial crassness. A track like “National Anthem” can still scoop you up and throw you into a world of ticker-tape explosions and sky rockets almost 12 months later. Could Lana be one of those rare breeds? A brand spanking new pop star with…whisper it…DURABILITY? (Well one who isn’t Adele anyway…). Those giant SOLD OUT signs beside every date of her European tour say more than I or any boring old career-crushing hype-machine ever could.

So whilst most will start 2013 cramping their fingers typing out the destiny of a band they’ve yet to hear properly, I’ll be waiting with teen-like anticipation for the chance to sit in the darkness of Vicar Street and witness her velvet and honey tones make every heart in the room skip a beat.

The credits: Jennifer Gannon is a music writer and regular loud mouth for State.ie, Fanny.ie, The Dave Fanning Show and others. She can be found wittering on about all things pop here.

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