LilyAllen is the ideal 21st century pop star to me. She is a pop star that has been able to break the mainstream, while also becoming an indie darling. With the help of the Internet and a talent for writing irresistible songs, her debut album "Alright, Still" was a success on the UK charts and with critics. You could also say that she is responsible for the direction that many female artists such as Kate Nash have taken in regards to pop with harsh romance based lyrics. What makes LilyAllen so special is the joyous feeling that her music brings. No matter what type of mood I am in, listening to her rip other men a new one puts a smile on my face. That is quite aÂ talent Lily! Thankfully after almost 3 years, Allen has finally released her long awaited sophomore album "It's Not Me, It's You", and there is plenty to be pleased about.
The album starts of with the synth heavy "Everyone's At It" where she hits on drugs and other aspects of the celebrity culture that she is quite familiar with. It is a good start but it plays off as an introduction to the awesome "The Fear" which is 3 and a half minutes of pop perfection. Lily touches on how life as a tabloid queen has treated her. Lily sings "I don't know how I'm meant to feel anymore" and it comes off as sincere. You begin to wonder how this life is truly affecting her.
Half way through Lily's sophomore album you realize that it is more beat happy than ska-happy. This does style suits her perfectly and it does not make the music any less enjoyable. In fact the fantastic production on songs like "Back To The Start" allow Lily's vocals to truly shine. Check out the pop gem known as "Fuck You" and you will see that Lily has not lost her edge at all, but rather created one of her greatest songs yet.
The first chunk of the album is full of upbeat pop gems, while the second half tails of with songs that don't just slow down on tempo but also on content. The collection of songs at the back of the album are not discussing penis size or life as a celebrity but rather the concept of settling down with someone ("Chinese"), or a missing father figure ("He Wasn't There"). Although I thought the pacing of the album took a big hit it doesn't mean that the last few tracks are bad by any means. Lily just needs to find a way to mix her upbeat style with more laid back serious content to keep things balanced.
While glancing at some of the critics reviews I believe that they were anticipating another care free pop album. The subject matter in some ways is similar to her debut, but it is clear that LilyAllen is showing a different side to her. It seems that she may be looking for someone to settle with, or that she is secretly worried about her image in the overbearing NME. Altogether, when you look at "It's Not Me, It's You" you have a solid collection of pop tunes full of hooks, catchy chorus's, big beats, that give us a little more detail to the crazy journey that is a LilyAllen album. Lily remains as real as anyone making music today, and I can always tell from her sweet voice that she is telling it how it is. A true pop star. We need more LilyAllen's in our life.
Recommended Tracks: Fuck You, The Fear, Not Fair
Will Oliver is a guest blogger here at PMA. Go to We All Want Someone to pick his musical mind.