Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You
Potty-mouthed, larger than life, campy pop divas are recapturing the spotlight and none fills the shoes better than saucy Brit, Lily Allen. On her sophomore release, It's Not Me, It's You, Allen, in a profanity laced cockney chirp, tackles issues ranging from political disillusionment and parental abandonment to sexually inadequate boyfriends. Sounds heavy? Hardly. Ironically, it's one of the most comical, light hearted releases so far this year.
Allen tosses musical styles around with the flip of a coin and if there's a synthesized novelty effect at her disposal, she uses it. The more serious or controversial the message, the more outrageous the treatment. To a corny country and western strain on ‘Not Fair,' Allen grumbles about her boyfriend's inability to make her scream in bed. On ‘Fuck You,' she uses Minnie Mouse trills and gleeful pop percussion to rip apart the right wing, pro-war, anti-gay political establishment. And on ‘Never Gonna Happen,' she throws in an accordion and a polka beat to explain why she wants to dump her boyfriend but retain him for casual sex. It's the kind of jaw dropping "look at me" boldness that conjures up the youthful exuberance of Madonna and her ilk - tough, ballsy chicks who strive to elicit extreme reactions by adopting characteristics usually attributed to men.
But Allen is smart enough to dial it back. Such a callous, cold-hearted approach, despite being tongue in cheek, would inevitably be off putting and she chooses to balance it off with a number of tracks that illustrate a softer, serious side. ‘Who'd Have Known' explores in a winsome manner the giddy joy of a budding relationship where there's "just the right amount of awkward." And in the European-disco offering, ‘Everyone's At It,' she takes a biting stab at the chemical dependency epidemic and tackles it with an approach that shows understanding and genuine concern.
It's Not Me, It's You doesn't exactly wear well with repeated listenings, but it's offbeat and knows its purpose. Allen captures in a wide-eyed fashion the essence of a working class girl who is as easily awed as she is pissed off. And it's done in the kind of crass irreverence that can only be pulled off when you're a forgivable 23 years old. But like that party last weekend, the one that was just too much fun, it's easily forgotten.
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on 2009-04-14 tosnob Said:
Two years ago Lily Allen burst upon the scene, fuelled by obscene amounts of Internet hype, most of which was deserved.
The world finally gets a second glimpse at Lily with her forthcoming sophomore album It's Not Me, It's You (out Feb. 10th).
Allen's experiences with success and fame have heavily influenced the new album. It's obvious that being under the media microscope has left a bitter taste in her mouth.
On her debut, Alright, Still, the bitterness really helped to make the record. This time around however, it doesn't work nearly as well.
That's possibly because the target of her vitriol has changed. Rather than relationships gone sour, the focus of Allen's attack is mostly fame and the celebrity youth culture. That's a theme that far fewer people can relate to.
That preoccupation with drugs, pills, parties, and body image fall flat in comparison to her previously cutesy vindictiveness. We do get a brief return to form on the defiant yet charming "Fuck You".
The music itself isn't much better. Absent are the shinny, bouncy melodies that permeated her debut. In their place are fairly generic disco and techno beats.
There is the occasionally surprising element: a jug band on "Not Fair" or an accordion on "Never Gonna Happen", but mostly the album is pedestrian and predictable.
It's Not Me, It's You is the sound of a young artist still needing to find herself. I'd wait until she does.
on 2009-03-17 blackxdan Said:
i would do some really unforgivable things to this woman.