Album Review: Lily Allen “IT’S NOT ME, IT’S YOU”
Written by Mike Dreams (Michael A. Hannah)
On February 9, 2009, British pop-singer Lily Allen graced our ears with her second studio album “It’s Not Me, It’s You”, with the lead single “The Fear”. Prior to the release of the album, Lily described that her newest project would represent her “taking a new direction” with her music. From the very first record that we dive into, it’s obvious that a brand new Lily Allen listening endeavor has begun.
The album starts out with the euro-pop enforced “Everyone’s At It”, which could have very well been the backdrop for one of America’s eclectic hip hop artists such as Pharrell Williams or Lupe Fiasco. The subject matter is clear: honesty. We all know the world is corrupt and twisted, but we can’t figure out how to stop it or find solutions if we all keep trying to deny and hide it. The next song we move to is “The Fear”. Greg Kurstin’s electro pop production hit heavy while Lily spoke about what we put as priority in living. It had a weird blend of conscious social awareness paired with a nonchalant candor of translucent concern. The third track moves to a song called “Not Fair” where Lily discusses her erotic endeavors in a humorous rhetoric about the “satisfaction” or lack thereof from her male partner and how it never matches her awesome efforts. Pause for the chuckle. I mean, how couldn’t you crack a smile when the entire layout of the topic is easily laughable, especially when laced over a modernized bluegrass production. Yes. I said bluegrass. Exactly. Nuff Said.
“22” is the following song. With this tune, we move into a sound that resembles the classic, coffee shop soundtrack Lily Allen that many of her early fans know. The production was euro pop ballad driven with a church organ introduction. The melody certainly gave me the same vibe as 2007’s breakout pop rock artist, Sarah Bareilles. The track, definitely carrying single potential, discussed a story about 30-year old women, or women who had aged in general who had great ambitions back at 22, but now bask in real life and the monotony of the unexciting realism of it. There’s no real lovers, just one night stands, no more fun, just work and no more dreams, just reality. In my opinion, this served to be one of the most standout introspective tracks I’ve ever heard on a Lily Allen album.
Other songs upon the album such as “Who‘d Have Known” and “I Could Say” had great radio appeal. The production on “I Could Say” began with some 80s pop style piano chords that moved into a full fledged dream pop, semi-hyphy drum kit with synthesizer accompaniment. Lily’s lyrics reflected the idea of maturity. The verses and chorus were about a guy she used to call her beau with whom she used to do things with that she thought was so great…until she grew up. Since his absence, she’s grown as a person and her soul has evolved “Who’d Have Known” came off as a classic, mid-tempo ballad depicting the art of love and infatuation, with a cutesy, vulnerable Lily speaking about her new darling taking it a step at a time and “seeing how it goes”.
Overall, the album had a very warm forthrightness, reflecting the mind of a normal, 23 year old European woman with a humble spirit and a mind of miscellaneous matters and concerns. Though some may categorize Lily’s music only for those who enjoy art exhibits, eating at bistros and Tory Burch fashion, the album has a universal appeal to any walk of life for it’s pure depiction and dedication to the art of music and earnest expression. The irony of that statement after listening to this expressive piece full of an extensive plethora of bountiful words, emotions, thoughts and feelings, I can only describe it with one utterance : sincere.