CD Review - Lily Allen: It’s Not Me, It’s You

Released: 02/09

Lily Allen bounced onto the music scene a couple of years ago with the witty pop debut Alright Still. She flounced around for a while thinking she was looking cool in huge bridesmaids dresses, chav earrings and big trainers and nowadays she is best known for falling out of clubs throwing a punch at some member of the public with a fag in the other hand and at least one boob hanging out. Bless.

She has collaborated on with Mark Ronson and appeared as backing vocals on albums for the likes of The Kaiser Chiefs. Now she’s back to what she arguably does best and that is making great pop music and her new album It’s Not Me, It’s You fortunately promises just that.

The album opens with the controversial track Everyone’s At It, an electronic poke at the fact that everyone takes drugs, apparently. It seems to either be a strained attempt to condone Lily’s own antics or to open the public’s eyes to the fact she’s not the only one ‘at it’. This album really should have opened with the following track and first single The Fear. Brimming with her usual dry wit and sarcasm, this song is a perfect example of how Lily’s lazy singing style can compliment such a catchy pop yarn so bloody well.

It’s Not Me, It’s You is filled with lots of musical experimentation from lo-fi 1950’s style jazz pianos on He Wasn’t There to Swedish folk accordion on Never Gonna Happen. The only drawback is that Ms Allen’s vocals are mixed exactly the same on every track so sometimes the vocals seem at odds with the music style.

The stand out tracks for me would be Back To The Start and the track simply titled F**k You. The former being a high energy dance number with the catchiest melody since those flipping Ting Ting’s last year. The latter is a wonderfully chirpy song that turns into a bit of a homage to the Chipmunks half way through and drips vitriol all over its cheery piano rhythm.

This is a wonderfully crafted record that has some very clever lyrics (along with some dumb Mike Skinner-esque ones too), although Lily Allen’s lazy singing does tend to make the album, as a whole, a little insipid and syrupy at times. Every track would brighten up any playlist or car journey with ease. It’s a light pop delight and we look forward to seeing how this transfers to her upcoming tour in April.

Catch Lily Allen live on Wednesday 18th March 2009 @ Academy, Bristol

Stu Freeman

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