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First Listen: Lily Allen, It's Not Me, It's You

First Listen: Lily Allen, It's Not Me, It's You

First, let's just take a moment to admire the cover of Lily Allen's new album, shall we? I love the way she's lounging so glamorously on that giant "L." It's self-centeredness of the cutest kind.

The much-anticipated followup to her debut album, Alright Still, It's Not Me, It's You comes out Feb. 10. Until then, you can stream it online on Lily's MySpace page. After a few listens, the dozen ditties have snagged me with tales of growing up, cleaning up, and gettin' down. For my song-by-song breakdown,


  • "Everyone's at It": Allen kicks things off with a number as catchy and slyly cynical as "Smile." Under the guise of sunny pop, the singer, no stranger to self-medicating, skewers our self-medicated culture with an addictive vocal melody and adorable vibrato.
  • "The Fear": Lily's sendup of celebrity gossip rags and fashion-obsessed shopaholics feels even more poignant against the recession, and the dreamlike zips and zooms are appropriately hypnotic.
  • "Not Fair": Though the melody on this one is flatter than the two songs that precede it, the surprising addition of a banjo to a full-on dance number keeps us guessing.
  • "22": Churchlike harpsichords and finger snaps punctuate a tale of woman who ain't 22 anymore. Despite somewhat cringe-worthy lines like "society says her life is already over," I had to grin at truths like "all she wants is a boyfriend / she gets one-night stands."
  • "I Could Say": On second thought, being 22 isn't so bad: The narrator has her whole life ahead of her after a lousy breakup. Though this song suffers from some cliched '80s rhythms and synths, I like the strings.
  • "Back to the Start": The Rapture meets roller rink. I'm sure I won't be the first reviewer to make this joke, but I find myself wishing this song would go back to the start, when it has an awesome, techno bass beat, instead of careening further into bubblegum pop land.
  • "Never Gonna Happen": This track delves fully into the gypsy-music gyrations that Allen only hinted at on her earlier efforts, and I'm totally hooked by the bouncing accordion beats. The rejection song is such a fun, polka-dotted romp that even the person being rejected can't complain too much.
  • "F**k You": A pretty piano ditty with a shocking (but not really) profanity-laden refrain. The first sing-song "F**k You" is kinda of cute, but the high-pitched vocal effects get a little tiresome.
  • "Who'd Have Known": A sort of turning point in the album arc, Allen turns from cynical to hopeful here, with a Zombies-esque ode to the early relationship butterflies.
  • "Chinese": The domestic bliss continues on "Chinese" — as in Chinese takeout. Allen's vocals here sound downright dreamy, and while the song isn't as surprising as the first half of the album, it's well-structured and refreshingly calm.
  • "Him": Lily Allen ponders the existence of God. At once frivolous and thought-provoking with a galloping bass line, the simple song poses questions about our creator from the mundane (his favorite band is CCR) to the heavy (terrorists dying in his name). It's not as eye-rolling as it sounds.
  • "He Wasn't There": This vaudevillian farewell wraps up the relationship roller coaster with the revelation that "everything's fine," told over old-timey static and a jazzy piano.
Join The Conversation
Nwrh Nwrh 8 years
I'm absolutely in love with the album! I can't stop listening to it =D Oh and yeah Kate Nash does sound a lot like her. She is more like a more polished version of Lilly, though.
zajo zajo 8 years
I have heard the entire album and am in love with it. Stand out tracks include Not Fair, Chinese, Him and Who'd Have Known. I am usually disappointed by the sophomore attempts of many artists but Lily seems pretty consistent.
greentea14 greentea14 8 years
Love love love the cover! Can't wait to hear it :)
emalove emalove 8 years
I'm a fan of her music, so I will definitely be checking this out.
blondie829 blondie829 8 years
if anyone hear knows kate nash, i think she sounds so much like her.
blondie829 blondie829 8 years
LOVE the cover art! She's so cute and spunky. Can't wait to hear the album.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I'll have to give this listen, and the cover is fantastic!
Tulipe Tulipe 8 years
I listened to the entire album and I loved it. I was a fan of her 1st one and I was half-expecting that this one wouldn't be as good (kind of like the disappointment which was Norah Jones' second album). But it is ! I particularly like the song "Not fair" which I think is hilarious... :-)
karen-zoo karen-zoo 8 years
I've streamed and listened to it and I love it all (and the album cover too!) except Who'd Have Known, Chinese and He Wasn't There.
i-heart-monster i-heart-monster 8 years
So far, I like it a lot. Thanks!!!
prencesschris prencesschris 8 years
Cool article...LOVE iT !!! ;)
johanna89 johanna89 8 years
thanks for the scoop, i've always loved lily allen and how she tells it like it is in her lyrics
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
I love Lily. I think her new album sounds good so far, but I don't know if it could live up her first one.
NatashaAlexis NatashaAlexis 8 years
It was just ok, Never Gona Happen was cute, but I Could Say and Back to the Start were bad. Did she not think people would notice that parts were copied? Like the beging of Back to Start.
tellmemorex2 tellmemorex2 8 years
Cool ! I'll have to listen to this soon.
wren1 wren1 8 years
Love it!
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