Lily Allen is the ex-girlfriend from hell. She’ll sleep with your best friends, tell everyone within ear shot that you’re bad in bed and/or small, plus all of the general insanity and pettiness she packs into any of these songs. She’s a total product of the times – narcissistic and a firm believer that every detail of her life is worth blogging, ranting and getting as much attention as possible from. It’s a bitch to deal, but it makes for some entertaining songs.
From the heavy old school ska samples to the not-quite-right hip-hop swagger of her entire persona, Allen is an English girl trying too hard to be street. I wouldn’t call her chavy…well, actually, I might. She sounds like she’s a lot of snark and no bite.
“Smile” is a nice example of this – she only smiles when her ex-boyfriend is unhappy. Allen sighs and coos it out over a ska/hip-hop song without the tiniest bit of irony. It’s a load of fun, but the remix at the end of the album is better. The old school, almost Motown-ish, vibe fits the song much better. “LDN” and “Everything’s Just Wonderful” find a better balance between her faux-bad girl posturing, potty mouth and sample heavy reggae bounce. Although anyone who’ll proclaim London as being bright and sunny might just be something of an original.
A part of me still loves the album, though. Allen just needs to take her songs somewhere more often. “Friday Night” ends with them getting into the club, proving that all of her trash talking is just that. She’s all mouth and no backbone, waiting instead to go home and blog about it in snarky and snippy comments. She needs to stop mistaking words like “cunt” as edge, biting from everyone else, gain some charisma and drop the prissy diva-tude unless she’s prepared to actually back it up.
At least she’s got a great set of producers behind the controls. The melodies and loops, bloops and bleeps are fantastic. I think that’s why I like it so much. But it does live up to its title in more ways than one, it’s just Alright, Still.