Are you looking for the ultimate summertime record for 2007?
A record with panache and attitude, cool grooves and senseless
pop that just makes you feel like kicking back in the sunshine
with a margarita? Search no more - Lily Allen's Alright,
Still is that record. The grooves are tight and varied, but
every song is a brightly produced gem. Allen tackles subjects
that are close to the heart of the modern girl, from living in
the wilds of modern London to the vicious feelings of revenge
after breaking up with a beau
all the while keeping up a
cool summertime rhythm that will have even the most un-hip of
duds tapping their foot.
The album kicks off in high gear with the reggae inspired bounce
of "Smile", a song that immediately endears the listener
with its irreverent take on break-ups. She gloriously tells the
story of reveling in the pain of the ex- while hearing about his
troubles post-separation. The song is likeable on many fronts,
from the humanity of the overall tone, to the loveable bounce
of the music, and the beautiful way that Allen's voice maintains
its distinctly British flavor as it quips on in everyday slang.
"Knock 'Em Out" has a background that is filled to the
brim with the call and response of the bar scene while a DJ
Jazzy Jeff-style hip-hop vibe carries Allen's simple tale
of barroom rejection. The vernacular is brilliant and makes the
song even more enjoyable.
"Everything's Just Wonderful" has a jazzy vibe with
a bit of "The Girl From Iponema" flavor as Allen diatribes
tongue-in-cheek about the pitfalls of modern life. Allen disses
on the ex- again on "Not Big", lacing the track with
brilliant digs and her wonderfully seductive bad attitude. By
the time the album reaches the story about her pot-smoking little
brother "Alfie", Lily Allen has made her mark as one
of pop's finest songwriters and modern life's best off-the-cuff
storytellers. "Alfie" is an endearing Disney soundtrack-like
plea to her little brother to get off the drugs and get a job
because "how the hell do you ever expect that you'll get
laid/ when all you do is stay and play on your computer games?"
The music is filled with a lilting joviality that perfectly carries
the song along.
Alright, Still is the perfect pop album - only two of
the songs clock in at more than three and a half minutes and each
song has a beat that could easily be danced to. Even better is
the fact that Lily Allen is so cute, but her lyrics are so darned
angry and vicious that it belies her pleasant exterior. Her voice
is wonderful as she raps about window shoppers or ugly guys at
the bar while maintaining her distinctive English accent, rather
than watering down her brogue for the masses. She's literate and
indelicate all at once, a fabulous combination for this finest
of summertime music.
2. Knock 'Em Out
4. Everything's Just Wonderful
5. Not Big
6. Friday Night
7. Shame For You
8. Littlest Things
9. Take What You Take
10. Friend Of Mine
12. Nan You're A Window Shopper
13. Smile (Version Revisited)
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