Monday, March 02, 2009

It's Not Me, It's You - Lily Allen

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The problem with having a smash hit debut album that sounds so fresh and new is that when the time for the follow up comes along, more of the same can often lead you to be labelled as a one-trick pony. Lily Allen seems to have avoided this commercially, this album smashed right to the top of the charts, but she hasn’t convinced this particular listener that she’s moved on one iota from Alright Still.

If this is meant to be the new “mature” Lilly (and I acknowledge here that she has to some extent distanced herself from this label, but has echoed the sentiment behind it) something must have been lost in the translation. You could take the catchy lead single The Fear and its apparent attack on the growing commercialism of modern life at face value if Allen hadn’t been an almost constant figure in the tabloids over the past two years. Some might say that “personality” has nothing to do with how good a record is, but considering Allen has made a career of being the personality of Lily Allen its impossible to detach yourself from it.

So it might be that those who haven’t long since got bored of her might find the humour in songs like It’s Not Fair, but those who found her first album such a breath of fresh air might come to the conclusion that that particular song is merely a “less good” version of Not Big from the debut. And it’s a similar feeling me throughout the album. Even when I find a catchy tune to tap my foot along to, there’s the nagging feeling that you’ve heard it all before and, more pertinently, you’ve heard it done better.

I wanted to like this, especially after having stuck out my neck out so far in favour of her debut, but try as I might, it’s just no good. The worst thing a “personality” can do is make a boring record; sadly, Lily Allen appears to have done just that.

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