Originally published on Fuse Magazine UK
It’s been 4 years since the pop songstress released her last album, 2009’s It’s Not Me It’s You, during which she founded a clothing line, beefed with numerous celebrities on Twitter and oh, popped out two babies. For a notoriously snarky singer who built up a career on jibes about her various ex-lovers, its been somewhat of a question how newfound domesticism might change Allen’s music. How many dirty sex jokes or slants at someone else’s appendages, can you make when you’re happily married?
The critical jury’s still out on whether or not Allen can measure up to her Alright, Still golden days-– Hard Out Here was a brilliant re-entry into the music industry, tackling cultural hot-topics of the moment sexism and slut-shaming with her trademark sharp tongue …and then there were single flops “L8 CMMR” and “Air Balloon,” featuring flat lyrics over sugary electropop backing tracks poorly suited to someone as witty as Allen.
As we await her currently untitled third album (or at least more singles to give us a better handle on whether it’ll be worth buying or not) it’s only fitting to listen back at some essential Lily Allen classics.
An obvious placement on any Allen best-of list but never overrated – her soaring vocals combined with a [somewhat sadistic] chorus befit the bitterest of breakups, and let’s face it, her cheating twit of a boyfriend probably deserved her smiling “serves you right!” anyway. Maybe yours did too, so you totally loved it.
Hands down my favorite song to snicker at in high school, and one I’d never dare to show my mother the lyrics to – which makes them even better. Really, this song is Allen at the pinnacle of her ex-lover shaming career to date and every second of it is hilarious in a way that makes you feel almost embarrassed for whoever it was written about. Almost.
Knock ‘Em Out
Ladies, this is a song about any creeper who’s ever tried too hard to get at you and ruined your whole night in the process. It’s everything you’ve ever wished you could’ve thought of in the heat of someone asking you “you alright baby?” rapped over a rollicking piano and kicking drum beat and it’s GREAT. “Nah I’ve gotta go cos my house is on fire, I’ve got herpes, err no I’ve got syphilis…” Ooh girl, you tell ‘em.
A rare moment of vulnerability— even sans any swear words or naughty content! – it’s probably the one Lily Allen song your significant other wouldn’t be terrified to catch you listening to, and it’s really quite sweet. “Chinese” remains both terribly endearing and an interesting side of Allen to occasionally pop up in song. Perhaps a direction we’ll see more on her upcoming album?
Honorary mentions: “Fag Hag,” which is nowhere near offensive as it sounds and “Everything’s Just Wonderful,” which is entirely applicable to the daily struggles of young adults and flat broke Uni students (like this particular writer).
What songs made you fall in love with Lily? Share them in the comments section below!