"Carmen" is one of those songs that leaves an impression on you the first time you hear it. The second those elegiac strings first come in, you know nothing good is going to come from this story. In a previous post, I mentioned that "Carmen" is "Hot Child in the City," for a new generation and that still holds true.
The tale of lost innocence is nothing new to pop music and with "Carmen" Del Rey becomes the story's latest torch-bearer. The video drives that point home with the opening shots of a budding rose standing in for the starry-eyed Carmen's descent into the darkness of NYC. The innocent of the rose is quickly lost, and we're exposed to a series of intimate home videos ala "Video Games." The videos are well-worn and convey the misspent days of youth as a separate lifetime, only to be remembered in some far corner of the mind.
"Baby's all dressed up with nowhere to go," Del Rey somberly coos. In the final moments of the video, we see what may be Carmen in a white dress, wildly spinning in an open field, doing her best to leave the past behind her. As the piano plays out, Carmen walks away for good. She's escaped the streets, the party tricks, and the soul-stealing cameras. She's found those lost days of youth, if only in her mind.
"Carmen"- Born to Die