I used to believe that I understood Lana Del Rey, but I was sadly mistaken. That is until her contribution to the steller Great Gatsby soundtrack, “Young and Beautiful,” premiered a little over a week ago. The full OST and movie for the matter haven’t even been released yet and I’m already obsessed. I blame much of who I am today on Baz Luhrmann. Romeo + Juliet blew me away and Moulin Rouge! was the first movie to ever make me cry (I’m not ashamed to say I’ve got a soft spot for doomed love set to an ostentatious plot and musical score). The latter continues to inspire me today, and I’ve a strong feeling his vision for Gatsby will do the same. Anyway! I digress. Back to the music.
Like I said, I thought I was on board the Lana train, but I wasn’t. After I heard this track, I just nodded my head and said, “I get it now.” This is her auto-biography. This is her message, look, and ethos all packed into one of the grandest musical moments of the 2010’s. I was hesitant when a friend sent me this remix because of how powerful the original is, but Kulkid has done it — he’s managed to make a grand macabre ballad into a grand macabre dance track that makes it okay to feel something on the dance floor.
It’s a simple synth melody and drum beat, really, but it’s enough to transport you to space. Lana embodies the story this track tells. The fear that we’re only attractive and wanted when we’re in our youth is as strong as the fear that your lover may wake up tomorrow and suddenly, for whatever reason, be out of love with you. Themes of west coast opulence and rock n’ roll grunge melt together in a way that really only Lana can do, and none of that is lost in Kulkid’s vision. He’s kept the remix minimal so that we focus on the words of the track. It’s a bold move, in my opinion, but it works.