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Lily Allen
It's Not Me, It's You
EMI Records
www.lilyallenmusic.com


On her latest record It's Not Me, It's You, British pop bad-girl Lily Allen spends almost the entire record proving just that. Building on the sweet foundation she laid on her debut Alright, Still, Lily sings about everything from the addiction problems of modern civilization to her own issues with a lover who can't seem to satisfy her, all with the darling frankness for which she's become so well known. Lead single "The Fear" is the jaded continuation of songs like "Smile" and "Not Big" as Allen points out, "I want to be rich and I want lots of money/I don't care about clever I don't care about funny/I want lots of clothes and fuckloads of diamonds/I heard people die while trying to find them…" Her cheeky lyrics ring with a modicum of youthful sincerity from her experiences in the limelight and all the celebrity bull that she's had to deal with over the past couple of years. She seems to have come out of all that fine, suicide scares and all, and continued to give the world some fantastic music. She experiments with a formerly untried sound on the cowboy-twang of "Not Fair" as she espouses her opinions on the greatest guy in the world who is just no good in the sack. Seems like it would be a ridiculous and banal song, but Allen gives the simplest of ridiculousnesses her lyrical brilliance and comes out a winner. "22" is a glimpse into the deeper, darker regions of Allen's soul as she sings about a girl who approaches the end of her twenties and has nothing really going on with her life and how the world judges someone like that. It's a frighteningly revealing song, giving another glimpse into the young psyche of a tormented and thoughtful mind. The easy 80's sounding electronic beats and strings of "I Could Say" sound like they were lifted off of a Camouflage record, but the lyrical bite is pure Lily Allen, filled with insight and a keen self-hatred that only the enlightened share. The music on It's Not Me, It's You runs the gamut from glittering pop, to four-on-the-floor dance music, to the aforementioned country, and even a bit of gospel, showing that Allen is not content to sit comfortably in one style of music, but rather adapt to any sound and make it her very own. Perhaps Lily Allen's music will finally bridge the generation gap, bringing together the kids who want danceable and lively tunes and the older folks who crave lyrical substance in their beautiful music. One can only hope.

-L. Keane

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