14 February 2009

Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You

The newly Twitter-addicted princess of pop has returned after two years of being a "celebrity". After exploding on to the pop scene with "Smile", Lily Allen has gone from ska-inflected blogger to the tabloids own version of Paris Hilton/any random party girl to a proper pop star. But the ska influence has disappeared from her sound, and it's for the best.

"INM,IY" begins with the big electropop sounds of "Everyone's At It", surely the best use of sirens since Klaxons' "Atlantis To Interzone". Okay, the lyrics aren't exactly subtle about ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE USING DRUGS apparently. It's sure to get right up stuffy Daily Mail readers' noses, but to everyone else, this kind of shock tactic is a little on the weak side. Coupled with the superb Number One that is "The Fear", it seems like Miss Allen is vying for the title of the "Voice Of The Nation". Based on the first two efforts, she's in pole position. But from here on in, "INM,IY" falls a little flat. Lily certainly knows her way around a couplet or two, for example on the countrified pop of "Not Fair": "There’s just one thing that’s getting in the way/When we go up to bed, you’re just no good, its such a shame/I look into your eyes, I want to get to know you/And then you make this noise and its apparent it’s all over". If you were on the end of that putdown, then I feel sorry for you.

The lyrics and Allen's voice are pretty much the two best point of the album. The music varies from electro pop to Eurovision-esque to music hall, but it's just not that interesting as "Alright, Still". "Who'd Have Known" is just a simple pop ballad of longing, but the melody is taken from Take That's "Shine" and despite that being a classic song, it does nothing to help lift this. "Fuck You" is a pretty obvious attack on George Bush/The BNP/basically anyone right wing. Whilst it's a great sentiment, the excessive swearing is just attention seeking, however catchy it may be.

Apart from a few dashes of brilliance, "INM, IY" is average for someone of Allen's talents. Although she's a better pop star than she is a socialite, she may want to spend a little more time on album number three. Obviously the fact that the album is below Allen's rather high standard won't affect any chart success, but we can live in hope that her next album will be a proper pop classic. Perhaps.

ESSENTIAL TRACKS: "Everyone's At It", "The Fear", "Fuck You", "Not Fair"
FOR FANS OF: Kate Nash, Ladyhawke


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