Lana Del Rey

SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Lisa-Marie Ferla

four stars

IT IS a strange time to be Lana Del Rey.

For four albums, the pop star has played with a sort of harmless nostalgia; all sepia-toned, faded Hollywood glamour, kitsch Americana and pining for bad boys in muscle cars. Giving interviews to promote recently-released album Lust For Life, Del Rey discussed her discomfort with those visuals in the current political climate. Their replacement? Images of mushroom clouds to accompany a new song, Change, the lyrics of which reference Bob Dylan and nuclear war.

Del Rey’s cool, detached vocal style, combined with typically lush production, often gives her recorded output an ambiguous, dreamlike quality – so the most striking thing about her in the flesh is her magnetism. The band struck up a little too loud, almost to the point of distortion, for opening number Cruel World, but her crystal clear voice sliced through the noise and made it immediately obvious who was the star of the show.

Despite clocking in at just over an hour, the set was packed with sublime moments: an intimate, ominous, Ultraviolence; the stripped-back, piano-driven version of Change, which she described as “the song that means the most to me from the new album”; the stately, sombre Video Games; a lush, magnificent take on Summertime Sadness that had everyone singing along. And all those paled in comparison to a rendition of new album opener Love, its grandiosity pared back to a simple piano accompaniment and her beautiful voice.

Those were enough to negate the moments which tried to replicate too closely the recorded versions of the songs. Born To Die felt particularly flat, no doubt thanks to the slightly cringey piping in of the album’s opening whispered ad-libs.