There were few people more divisive in 2012 than Lana Del Rey, what with the awkward live performances and borderline embarrassing coquette act, neither of which detracted from the charms of her debut album Born to Die. "Video Games" was the hit, but "Blue Jeans," "Off to the Races" and "Summertime Sadness" exhibited Del Rey's most becoming traits. Clearly she aimed for an update on timeless Vegas lounge cool, but everything ended up just a bit too broken-heeled and busted to work. That half-failure is where the album's romance lies. -- Aaron Brophy
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