Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Album Review: Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You

I secretly loved Lily Allen from the first time I saw her on Saturday Night Live. I had heard the song "Smile" on the radio, but didn't catch on to the snarky lyrics till I saw her perform it live. I immediately started listening to tracks off her first release, Alright, Still and was endlessly impressed with her bratty charm. She seemed like a girl that would be fun to be out with on a Friday night. However she was still just my guilty pleasure, I was sure that her poppy style was too far removed from some idea I had of legitimate music for me to be a legitimate fan.

I have to tell you though she's changed my mind with her new album It's not Me, It's You. The music is still catchy and poppy, nothing much has changed there except a reliance on more electronic beats. She's matured as a person and as an artist though, somehow without managing to dislodge her tongue from her cheek, a place where it seems very comfortable. There are songs on It's Not me... mocking her latest man's performance in the sack (Not Fair), a sweet sounding take down of Bush and conservatives called Fuck You, and a scoldings to an interested boy that "It never really did and now it's never gonna happen with the two of us." Ouch. 

These songs though are balanced by an innate sweetness she seems to posses. She sings, in one of the albums' best songs, Chinese, "I don't want anything more/than to see your face when you open the door/you make me beans on toast and a nice cup of tea/then we'll get a chinese and watch TV." She weaves such a simple, everyday, yet beautiful image of feeling safe and comfortable with the one you love, that every time I hear this song I can only think of doing the same. It works every time, seriously it should really be on an advertisement for chinese take-out.

She proves on this album though that her song writing is going places. She takes a stab at the at pointing out the hypocrisy in Celebrity Culture (The Fear), and Drugs (Everyone's At It), and even goes for it with a song about God (Him). In fact, my favorite line of the album comes when she claims that God's favorite band is Credence Clearwater Revival. I guess you could say that now she's got one more legitimate fan.

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