February 26, 2009 Album Review; Lily Allen
English singer songwriter Lily Allen gained acclaimed success with her debut album “Alright, Still.” After her first single “Smile” reached the top of the UK Singles Charts in July of 2006, Allen’s newest album, “It’s Not Me, It’s You,” is a follow up to the star’s immensely popular string of dainty yet explicit tunes which took the U.S. music scene by storm. While her first album was an innovative mix of light catchy tunes and sassy, in-your-face lyrics, “It’s Not Me, It’s You” lacked the same fresh quality.
Known best for her blunt lyrics, Allen’s “It’s Not Me, It’s You,” once again delivers controversial statements interspersed with bubbly, carnival-like melodies. While the album finally shows diversity in the last few tracks, the initial first half of the album tends to be redundant and similar in both sound and lyrics.
The first track, “Everyone’s At It,” is typical of Allen’s original style. The poppy sound, reminiscent of older works, is counter-acted with lyrics such as, “So your daughter’s depressed, /We’ll get her straight on the Prozac./ But little do you know,/ She already takes crack.” The same blunt undertaking continues on throughout the next few tracks on the album. Allen’s “The Fear” takes on the cut throat steps to success in Hollywood, but once again, appears to give a deceivingly happy and flippant message through the same piano based, bubbly tune.
Allen’s next four tracks are not for the male faint of heart. Songs such as “Not Fair,” explicitly tell of her dissatisfaction in the bedroom. Lyrics describing the seemingly perfect man, give way to his every fault during intimacy: “There’s just one thing / that’s getting in the way/ When we go up to bed / you’re just no good/ It’s such a shame/ I look into your eyes / I want to get to know you/ And then you make this noise/ and it’s apparent it’s all over.”
The next four tracks continue to tell of Allen’s woes, both in first person, and in a story telling format. The melodies could easily be made into one, half hour long male bashing tale of snippy side comments and feminist sounding declarations. The melodies are once again similar in sound, while the repetitive, menacing lyrics are given titles such as “F*ck You” and “Never Gonna Happen.”
Just as soon as listeners may be ready to give up all hope of a positive ballad, along comes the song “Who’d of Known?” This genuinely cute tale of romantic beginnings breathes originality into “It’s Not Me, It’s You” with lyrics such as “Are you mine? /Are you mine? / Cause I stay here /All the time/ Watching tele/ Drinking wine/ Who’d of known?” The song is followed with a dreamy tune called “Chinese;” a song dedicated fully to relaxing and eating Chinese food with that special someone.
Surprisingly enough comes the next track, “Him.” This unexpected and original song questions the attributes of God, and the characteristics He would hold if human. The song is a refreshing addition to Allen’s album, while also echoing Joan Osbourne’s “What If God Was One of Us.”
While a lot was expected out of Allen’s follow up album, “It’s Not Me, It’s You,” fell short of the fresh and innovative sound captured in “All Right, Still.” While small musical gems can be found sparsely sprinkled throughout the album, Allen’s second attempt at poppy carnival tunes took an unfortunate turn into being a redundant musical therapy session.