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Carmen (song)

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Carmen
Lana Del Rey
Writer(s) Lana Del Rey
Justin Parker
Producer(s) Emile Haynie
Jeff Bhasker
Released January 26, 2012
Length 4:08
(See official versions)
From Btdogo
Single(s) "Video Games"
"Born to Die"
"Blue Jeans"
"Summertime Sadness"
"National Anthem"
"Dark Paradise"
Promotional single(s) "Off to the Races"
"Carmen"
Born to Die track listing
"Million Dollar Man"

"Carmen" is a song written by Lana Del Rey and Justin Parker and produced by Emile Haynie and Jeff Bhasker. Taken from Lana's first major-label album Born to Die, the song served as the album's second promotional single, following "Off to the Races". An acapella demo of the song was leaked in early 2012.

Background and compositionEdit

"Carmen" was written by Del Rey and Justin Parker, and produced by Emile Haynie with additional production by Jeff Bhasker. In an interview for The Sun, Del Rey revealed that the song was about "a doomed woman who sells her body on the streets" of Coney Island, which Del Rey viewed as an "important [place] to [her]" throughout her career inNew York City.[1] Del Rey told Complex that the melody and the lyrics of "Carmen" "come together".[2]

Critical reception Edit

"Carmen" was acclaimed by most critics for its ability to tell a story and haunt with its intense lyrics of the downside to fame. Noted as a cautionary hint of any downside to such a debauched lifestyle that Del Rey portrays on her album, Andy Gill of The Independent describes the song as a metaphor used by Del Rey for her "synthetic life experience."[3] Alex Denney of NME described the song as "a winner" with Del Rey’s richly suggestive tones conjuring the ghosts of Lauren Bacall’s classic femme-fatales.[4] While reviewing the album and describing the song as the point where "things start to pick up," John Capone of Prefix Magazine described the song as a "three-Xanax-and-gin-martini-cocktail broken-hearted baroque ballad."[5] Angela Okhumoya of Addictmusic showed appreciation for Del Rey's writing abilities on "Carmen" stating that it is "better than most of her contemporaries."[6] Dom Gourlay of Contactmusic gave the song a positive review, stating "You want hip-hop beats? Check. Radio friendly choruses? Check. Singalong verses for the hen party and karaoke masses? Check."[7] Rob Harvilla of Spin noted the song for its ability to "gently ascends/descends to Drake/Weeknd empty-hedonism poignancy."[8] Billboard called the song a "poor man's version of far-superior (and hookier) anthems like "Roxanne".[9]

Live performances Edit

Del Rey first performed the song live on April 10, 2012, at the Jazz Cafe in London, United Kingdom. The song was also included in the setlist of the 2012 leg of the Born to Die Tour, the Paradise Tour (2013-2014), and the Festival Tour (2016).

Cross-references Edit

Music videoEdit

Music video Information
CARMEN05:16

CARMEN

Released April 21, 2012
Length 5:16
Director Lana Del Rey
Producer
Choreographer
Filmed June, 2011
Location
VEVO views N/A

Background & description Edit

On February 27, 2012, Del Rey revealed through her Facebook page that she just finished editing the music video for "Carmen". The singer premiered the music video on April 21, 2012. The video opens with Instagram-style snapshots of New York City, spliced together with scenes of old Hollywood paparazzi, a rose, and shots of Lana herself. Once the song begins, we see a dressed woman working a pole, then Lana on a city porch. The song goes on to feature black and white photo stills, animated food scenes, Lana riding the back of a motorcycle operated by the model Josh Rachlin and multiple references to drugs and troubled youth. In one scene, Lana is behind the camera interviewing Rachlin, asking him about his dream girl and giggling. The video ends with the Erik Satie's song "Gymnopédie No.1." and a woman dancing in a field until the word “fin” graces the screen.

Photoshoot by Martin Zähringer (June, 2011) Edit

Official versions Edit

  • Album version – 4:08
  • Demo version 1 – 4:17
  • Demo version 2 – 4:16
  • Acapella demo – 3:06

LyricsEdit

FinalEdit

Darlin', darlin', doesn't have a problem
Lyin' to herself 'cause her liquor's top shelf
It's alarmin', honestly, how charming she can be
Fooling everyone, tellin' 'em she's having fun

She says, "You don't wanna be like me
Don't wanna see all the things I've seen
I'm dyin', I'm dyin'"

She says, "You don't wanna get this way
Famous and dumb at an early age
Lyin', I'm lyin'"

The boys, the girls, they all like Carmen
She gives them butterflies, bats her cartoon eyes
She laughs like God, her mind's like a diamond
Audio tune lies, she's still shining
Like lightning, whoa, like lightning

Carmen, Carmen, stayin' up till mornin'
Only seventeen but she walks the streets so mean
It's alarmin', truly, how disarmin' you can be
Eatin' soft ice cream, Coney Island queen

She says, "You don't wanna be like me
Lookin' for fun, gettin' high for free
I'm dyin', I'm dyin'"

She says, "You don't wanna get this way
Streetwalk at night, and a star by day
It's tirin', tirin'

The boys, the girls, they all like Carmen
She gives them butterflies, bats her cartoon eyes
She laughs like God, her mind's like a diamond
Audio tune lies, she's still shining
Like lightning, whoa, like lightning

Baby's all dressed up with nowhere to go
That's the little story of the girl you know
Relyin' on the kindness of strangers
Tyin' cherry knots, smilin', doin' party favors
Put your red dress on, put your lipstick on
Sing your song, song, now, the camera's on
And you're alive again

Mon amour, je sais que tu m'aimes aussi
Tu as besoin de moi
Tu as besoin de moi dans ta vie
Tu ne peux vivre sans moi
Et je mourrai sans toi
Je tuerais pour toi

The boys, the girls, they all like Carmen
She gives them butterflies, bats her cartoon eyes
She laughs like God, her mind's like a diamond
Audio tune lies, she's still shining
Like lightning, whoa, like lightning
Like lightning, whoa, like lightning

Darling, darlin', doesn't have a problem
Lyin' to herself 'cause her liquor's top shelf

Acapella demoEdit

The boys, the girls, they all like Carmen
She gives them butterflies, bats her cartoon eyes
She laughs like God, her mind’s like a diamond
Audio tune lies, but she’s still shinin', shinin', shinin'

Darlin', darlin', doesn't have a problem
Lyin' to herself, says her liquor’s top shelf
It’s alarmin', honestly, how charmin' she can be
She's fooling everyone, tellin' 'em she’s havin' fun

The night descends and there goes Carmen
Only seventeen, but she walks the streets so mean
The men, they stop when she walks by 'em
Whisper, "Who is she?" La princessa de la silence
Her walk is art; her words are lightnin'
Strikin' everyone when she pass by them

Carmen, darlin', doesn't have a problem
She's lyin' to herself ‘cause her liquor’s top shelf
It’s alarmin', honestly, how charmin' she can be
She's foolin' everyone, tellin’ ‘em she’s havin' fun

She looks animated like a cartoon baby
With her tiara smile and her shortcake heart
Yo, she looks animated like a cartoon baby
with her champagne sex and her cocaine heart

She's like a light that you can't turn off
Gettin' too bright and you need to stop
But you can't turn off and you're gettin' hot
And your body keeps twistin', movin', twistin', movin', shakin', yeah
Twistin', movin', shakin', yeah
Dance 'til dawn, yeah, you dance 'til you drop

Carmen, Carmen, doesn't have a problem
Lyin' to herself 'cause her liquor’s top shelf
Oh, it’s alarmin', honest, how disarmin' she can be
You're foolin' everyone when inside you know you're dyin'
 
Carmen, Carmen, doesn't have a problem
Lyin' to herself 'cause her liquor’s top shelf

CreditsEdit

Personnel

  • Vocal production — Justin Parker
  • French vocals — Lenha Labelle
  • Drums — Emile Haynie
  • Guitar — Emile Haynie
  • Keyboards — Emile Haynie
  • Additional keyboards — Jeff Bhasker
  • Additional strings — Jeff Bhasker
  • Strings arrangement and conducting — Larry Gold
  • Strings assisting — Steve Tirpak
  • Mixing — Manny Marroquin
  • Assistant mixing — Erik Madrid & Chris Galland

Release historyEdit

Country Date Format Label
Austria January 26, 2012 Digital download Universal Music Group
Germany
Switzerland

References Edit


Btdogo 2

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