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Friday, February 22nd
The Critics Corner: Albums
School Boy Humor
Lily Allen- 'It's Not Me, It's You'

Sophomore effort continues saucy music attitude
SBH Name: "It's Not Me, It's You "
Label: Capitol
Release Date: February 8, 2009
My rating: 4.0 out of 5

Review written by: Ann Frohoff
As far is Miss Lily Allen is concerned, the music she writes is what she feels, what she’s living at the moment and makes no excuses about it. In all her saucy and sassy persona, it’s not surprising she would be the one to say what those of us only think. On “It’s Not Me, It’s You”, her 2nd studio album and follow-up to her critically acclaimed debut “Alright, Still” in 2006, Lily touches on many topics: celebrity – with “The Fear”; giving the bird to former Prez. G.W. Bush - with “Fuck You”; and God – with “Him”. However, we also see a softer side of Lily as well, with “Who’d Have Known” and “Chinese”, which leaves us relieved to know she actually does care about something.

The opening song is the most poignant on the entire album, “Everyone’s At It” – speaking to the mass consumption of prescription drugs and the lackadaisical view society has on this problem of humanity. Followed by “The Fear” – with its catchy disco inspired beats and half shallow lyrics – I was pulled in right away with a smile on my face; after listening to it a couple of times - it left me wondering which celebrities where floating around in her head when she wrote it – perhaps that’s why she asks “and when do you think it will all become clear”.

I almost passed right by the 3rd track – when I heard a country “pony” beat, but with all due respect I had to hang on a bit to see what “Not Fair” would bring – all I can say to any fellow bedding a rock star – make sure you take your time. Whether this is inspired by one of her personal experiences or not – it leaves me wondering if she would ever tell a poor chap to his face…maybe a few “adjustments” could have been made if everything else was so wonderful.

The 4th through 5th track carried me quickly through to the 6th, “Never Gonna Happen” – the lyrics left me thinking if this was a continuation of “Not Fair” (the poor desperate soul) . Then a 70’s inspired show tune-ish melody caught my attention, the 8th song - definitely perking my interest hearing “Fuck you, fuck you very much”. I thought ‘Ok, what’s this about?’ – becoming clear after I listened to it more closely on the 2nd round. Whatever your political view – this is a great song. Yes, it may be an ‘immature’ song – but then aren’t all politics at times? I tip my hat to anyone who can say “fuck you” over 30 times in one song and making it sound clever all at the same time.

Musically “It’s Not Me, It’s You” is Lily’s full blown entry into the pop genre. An eclectic mix, filled with electronic beats, poppy bluegrass/country rhythms and techno vibes; Lyrically clever, raw and open with Greg Kurstin as the sole producer on the entire album, definitely keeps the integrity in check. Some may think that with such broad topics, Lily is hypocritical; I beg to differ – what were you doing at 22? Its clear Lily has definitely grown - but keep in mind that being snarky and cynical, the pushing of the envelope is why she’s so endearing.

In all its effort – this album is definitely a ‘chick album’, an album for all of the timid adult gals out there who need a shot of courage to stick up for themselves or giving insight to come clean, if Lily can say it why can’t you? Now let me be clear THIS IS NOT AN ALBUM FOR ALL AGES – this album is heavy with young adult angst, situations and realizations; offering a seemingly real glimpse into what it’s like to be Lily.

Lily Allen’s ability to bring clarity to each chapter of her life may make us gasp, but it’s refreshing in its own way. Clinging to her ‘who gives a shit’ attitude and tabloid fodder life we’ve become distracted from her talent – this album will brings us into her ‘twenty-something’ world, her thoughts, her breath and back to why we fell in love with her in the first place.

Cristina CarrazzaAnn Frohoff is a staff writer in the West/Southwest region at Musiqtone.com. You can contact her at annfrohoff@musiqtone.com or fill out this feedback form below.
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