Oh, Dia. Oh dear.
Let’s clear up a few things first. Dia Frampton’s cover of Lana Del Rey’s sundresses-and-Advil PM drowse “Video Games” isn’t a huge crossover push so much as the product of, as her YouTube page says, “messing around on [a] day off in New York,” which explains the scenery. Nor is our issue with Dia, who is generally excellent and whose performance was as good as the material would allow. It isn’t even with Lana in the way that most people’s issues with her are. In a vacuum, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with her cover.
Nothing Lana has ever touched or ever will again can exist in a vacuum. Between Bombay Basketball Club and The Young Professionals and Kasabian (of ALL PEOPLE) and Patrick from Titus Andronicus and roughly one-twelfth of YouTube, “Video Games” has essentially now become the left-field cover of choice for either guitar bros seeking to diversify, artists looking for some timely cachet, or both. It’s easy to imagine, five years or so out and whether Lana quits or not, “Video Games” becoming her wondrous one hit. You can already see it even in the most critical reviews: “well, at least we’ve got ‘Video Games,’ right?” The more covers accumulate, and the more the waves of backlash compress into each other, the faster that’ll happen.
But did we really all sign off on making “Video Games” historically AAA forever? Are we really all OK with making this a standard? Does–oh, it’s too late. Sorry, Dia. We’ll let this slide; your cover’s as good as it could possibly be. We’ll reserve the rest of the rant for the next 15 covers that arrive.