…is the title of Lily Allen’s second album, released on 9 February. I’ve just read a positive, but slightly scanty review of the album on Jason Von Berg’s Times Music Blog (he got the title wrong, ‘It’s Not You, It’s Me’ has a whole different meaning!) so I thought I’d say a few words…
As I’ve probably mentioned somewhere on here, I’m a fan of British female pop divas. And although I like to listen to Adele, Duffy or The Nash, I am especially fond of Lily Allen.
This all started in summer 2006, when ‘Smile’, Lily’s first single (happy tune, fittingly sinister lyrics) came on to my car radio, and just struck a chord with me. Lily dares to say what many girls and young women feel: which is often, quite simply ‘fuck off’.
My interest in such music has not always been plain sailing. My brother Joe was never the biggest fan. But alas, at Glastonbury 2007, having spent the day squirming in mud listening to everyone else’s first choices, I managed to persuade him and a friend, Tom, to come and watch Lily perform on the Pyramid Stage. Maybe it was the pink dress, or the gutsy-ness of a girl who will walk on stage in trainers, with a can of Strongbow and a fag. Whatever, they were converted. Lily doesn’t possess the over-mascaraed-I-eat-brown-riceness of many female artists. Joe listed his favourite acts that particular year as Beirut, Editors, The Arcade Fire…and Lily Allen. Tom even bought the album. Result!
For all these reasons, I have been looking forward to hear the new album. This time around, Lily’s music seems to have grown up a lot, and has a new found confidence. Perhaps this fits not only her life, but also the lives of many of her fans. Again, Allen is not afraid to confront significant topics: drug use, BNP politics, religion, unsatisfying ex-partners. And it has paid off – both her recent single, ‘The Fear’, and her album have hit top spots in the UK charts. Good. It’s a brilliant album, with a new-found quirkiness which once again puts Allen ahead of American would-be-likes.