2. Lana Del Rey, “Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have – but I Have It”
From the very beginning – that being “Video Games” – Lana Del Rey crafted one of the more unique styles of the decade, but although my admiration for her has been steadily growing over the years, I did not expect, and nor did many others, her to end the 2010s as one of the foremost songwriters of her generation. But that’s exactly what she’s done, and the nearly six-minute “Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have – but I Have It” stopped me dead in my tracks. She approaches Dylan, Cohen, and Mitchell in the way she paints a lyrical portrait: “I’ve been tearing around in my fucking nightgown / 24/7 Sylvia Plath / Writing in blood on my walls / ‘Cause the ink in my pen don’t work in my notepad…There’s a new revolution, a loud evolution that I saw / Born of confusion and quiet collusion of which mostly I’ve known / A modern day woman with a weak constitution, ’cause I’ve got / Monsters still under my bed that I could never fight off.” Just those words, the quietest of piano accompaniment, and that mournful yet empowering melody. It is a towering piece of work.