February 20, 2012 4:03pm PT by Michael O'Connell
Hear Lana Del Rey Channel Shirley Bassey in 2010 Recording (Audio)
Love her or hate her, Lana Del Rey is someone you've probably come to associate with restrained vocals.
Her throaty crooning, which record exec Jimmy Iovine recently likened to Stevie Nicks, frequently approaches a whisper on her recent album. So you might be surprised to hear her belting Sweet Charity showstopper "Big Spender" on a new track from UK rapper Smiler.
Recorded back in 2010, when NME reports the two were sharing adjacent studio space, "Spender" just hit the web last week. Del Rey is only there for backing vocals, but she makes her presence known by nixing the song's original come hither tone in favor going full Bassey.
Shirley Bassey's 1967 cover is clearly what Del Rey had in mind when she tackled the song. And it offers the most audible bravado we've heard from her yet, sounding more like an earnest (and decent) American Idol audition than any of the intentionally detached, melancholic material she's become known for.
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It may take more than a few listens to decide if that's a good thing or not.
Listen below or check it out when Smiler's All I Know mixtape arrives on Feb. 27.