Lily Allen – ‘It’s Not Me, It’s You’

June 29, 2009 § Leave a comment

Published: Music Australia Guide #62, February 2009.

Lily Allen
It’s Not Me, It’s You
****
(Regal/EMI)

We’re all familiar enough with the Lily Allen story. The daughter of British actor/comedian Keith Allen, she was music’s first bona-fide MySpace zero-to-hero. She was the cutting, potty-mouthed 21-year-old who had the international media in a slather. She was the girl who changed pop. But even with all the hype, the most exciting thing about Allen and her 2007 debut Alright, Still was the simple fact that the girl knew how to write a pop song. And a damn catchy, cheeky one at that. If we needed any more proof, it’s written all over her long-awaited follow-up. From the bouncing rhythm and swirling dynamics of opener Everyone’s At It, It’s Not Me, It’s You is riddled with a full cache of Allen’s poptastic signifiers. Sugarcoated melodies punctuate the stickiest of hooks, and playful vocal inflections mask a more caustic, mischievous streak. Check the galloping verse and faux-country and western guitars of Not Fair (not to mention its tale of an under-performing boyfriend). But where this chart-savvy little collection really differs is in its intent. Allen’s still got plenty of wit and street smarts, but she also has volumes more to say. The Fear, for example, has her musing on the disposability of celebrity culture, whereas Him tackles notions religion and its misappropriation. Chinese, meanwhile, proves one of the more grounded, romantic portraits of domestica you’ll hear. It’s a huge stride. Lily Allen has grown up, but she hasn’t lost an ounce of her impish charm.

Dan Rule

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