The meaning of Gods and Monsters by Lana Del Rey is quite dark – it refers to the problems of Hollywood. The problems she refers to her song is the materialism of the industry – that there is no regard for originality or creating something worth consuming – that Hollywood is money making machine that values only making profit and exploiting young stars. In the song she talks about being a young aspiring musician, and realising that in order to be a successful star that she must sacrifice the direction she wants to truly go down as an artist and using her attributes to advantage herself – no matter the cost.
Lana Del Rey uses a large amount of imagery in all/most of her songs. In Gods and Monsters, she uses a thread in which she presents herself as an angel and Hollywood as hell. The first lines of the song are ‘In the land of Gods and Monsters
I was an angel, living in the garden of evil’. The gods and monsters she refers to represent the figures of Hollywood that try to lure her into trouble and that will not give her what she needs. The garden of evil represents the temptation of falling into the trap of losing herself to Hollywood cliches and problems – she tries her best to be the only one that doesn’t give in. By not giving in she presents herself as the angel she talks about in the song.
The imagery in the next line shows progression in how she is feeling and her changing reactions to Hollywood – ‘Screwed up, scared, doing anything that I needed’, reveals that she has given up and has decided to give in to the expectations of Hollywood.
Further on in the song, the lines ‘It’s innocence lost, innocence lost’ show how she has lost this image as an untainted angel and is now aware of the complications of being famous.
The full song uses imagery such as this – this imagery would have been used to dramatise and fictionalise the theme of the song, making it a story for the listeners to follow. In addition to this, the imagery fits her visual and content aesthetic of ‘Hollywood Sad-core’.
The duration of the song is 3 minutes and 57 seconds, which is almost four minutes. Songs that reach this kind of length are usually very detailed with lots of verses – which in this case proves to be true. In the song, there is two verses, three choruses, two refrains and a bridge. Because of this the song needs to be long enough to include this amount of content without rushing it – that way the audience can appreciate every element of the song peacefully without the song being over too quickly. In addition to this – the song is not too long where in which it drags on and becomes boring to listener. It is long enough so that the audience can appreciate it fully but short enough to keep the attention of the listener.
The pace of the song is medium to slow pace. The beat is consistent and doesn’t change very much, staying at a low bass tune paired with some higher pitch classical tune and some electronic elements. This pace is a consistent element of Lana Del Rey songs. Her style is old classic Hollywood themes mixed with melancholy (often dubbed as Hollywood Sad-core) so it is appropriate for her songs to be of a medium to slow pace in order to match the mood and theme of the song. The slow pace gives a graceful and elegant vibe which is very much Lana Del Rey’s aesthetic and image.