"Dark Paradise" (also registered as but not to be confused with "Paradise") is a song from Lana Del Rey's debut major-label album, Born to Die. It was written by Lana and Rick Nowels, with production fronted by Emile Haynie and co-production by Nowels. The first demo was produced by Bjorn Yttling. It was released as the album's 6th single on March 1, 2013, exclusively in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
Writing and inspiration
The song is thought by fans to be written about K and his death, although this is not definitely confirmed. There are some themes in the track that can provide evidence to this theory, though. The song contains references to Del Rey's love of someone who has passed away, and her desire to join him.
Del Rey originally recorded a demo of the song containing differed lyrics and production in the early stages of recording Born to Die. Lyrically and sonically, the second demo is similar to the radio edit.
The song follows a similar sound to other songs on Born to Die, with orchestral production and a mid-tempo ballad structure. It contains the male backing vocals also found in most songs on the album. It has a tempo of 120 beats-per-minute, making it one of the fastest songs on the album. The key of the song is C♯ minor.
The song garnered mixed reviews from critics. Most critical reviews came from the melodramatic tone of the song, along with the lyrical content and repetitive production. Billboard gave the song a negative review, saying that "fatigue sets in" when this song comes up on the album, and that the song "would be a subpar ballad for Del Rey" even if she had never released "Blue Jeans" or "Video Games". Jaime Gill from BBC Music used the song as an example as why "Born to Die" isn't perfect, saying that "it slumps slightly towards the end, and the glossy trip-hop production grows wearying on lesser [G]othic melodramas like Dark Paradise." David Edwards from Drowned in Sound said along with "Carmen" that they weren't the best tracks on the album, saying "The dreary fallen angel whimsy of ‘Carmen’ sums up precisely the unfocused drift that critics often use to malign her and on songs such as ‘Dark Paradise’, the caricature extends beyond our empathy."
On the other hand, many critics believed that the criticism towards the song attracted it as a standout towards the album. Los Angeles Times named it among the best tracks on the album along with "Video Games" and "Summertime Sadness". MuuMuse highlighted the album as a standout, saying "Yet beneath the song’s gothic exterior lies an deeply romantic sentiment, suggesting that love trumps all circumstances–even death [...]"
|Chart (2013)|| Peak|
|Germany (Official German Charts)||45|
|Poland (Polish Airplay Top 100)||5|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||48|
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||42|
- The song can be viewed as a continuation of the story of Del Rey's relationship with K.
- Thematic references to the ocean can also be found in "Kill Kill", "Methamphetamines" and "Heavy Hitter"
- The theme of 'paradise' also appears in "Paradise", "Velvet Crowbar", and "Every Man Gets His Wish".
- "Pretty baby" (from the demo) is also referenced in "Florida Kilos" "For K, Pt. 2" and some other songs.
- Parov Stelar Remix 4:21
Format: CD in slimcase
Released: March 1, 2013
Photogaphy: Nicole Nodland
|1.||"Dark Paradise" (Radio Mix)||3:52|
Del Rey stated that she planned to record a video for the song in an interview on June 21, 2012, for release in September, but the video did not come to fruition.
- Drums — Emile Haynie
- Keyboards — Emile Haynie
- Strings arrangment and conducting — Larry Gold
- Strings assistment — Steve Tirpak
- Additional vocals — Maria Vidal
- Chamberlain strings — Patrick Warren
- Guitar — Rick Nowels
- Additional synths — Devrim Karaoglu
- Orchestral drums — Devrim Karaoglu
- Pads — Dean Reid
- Mixing — Manny Marroquin
- Assistant mixing —Erik Madrid & Chris Galland
- ↑ APRA|AMCOS title search lists "Paradise" as an alias of "Dark Paradise" (APRA ID: GW42208736)
- ↑ http://thecuttingroom.com/bjorn-yttling-and-lana-del-ray-at-the-cutting-room-studios/
- ↑ http://www.billboard.com/articles/review/1067142/lana-del-reys-born-to-die-track-by-track-review#
- ↑ http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/qrnv
- ↑ http://drownedinsound.com/releases/17344/reviews/4145754
- ↑ http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2012/01/lana-del-rey-born-to-die.html
- ↑ http://www.muumuse.com/2012/01/lana-del-rey-born-to-die-album-review.html/
- ↑ http://musicline.de/de/chartverfolgung_summary/artist/Lana+Del+Rey/?type=single
- ↑ http://bestsellery.zpav.pl/airplays/top/archiwum.php?year=2013&idlisty=983#title
- ↑ http://www.swisscharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Dark+Paradise&cat=s
- ↑ http://www.austriancharts.at/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Dark+Paradise&cat=s