London Calling: Lily Allen's Alright Still

At first listen, Londoner Lily Allen's debut solo album Alright, Still sounds much like the other female pop efforts of the past several years a la Natasha Beddingfield. In fact, with all the hype surrounding the stateside release, it would be easy to dismiss it as yet another disposable pop album.

Yes, Allen's lyrics are street cred tough. Yes, she has a reputation as a "bad girl". If this were all to Allen and her album, she would merely be a U.K. version of Pink. They even dress alike and have enormous hair/wigs alike. Fortunately for us, there's more to Lily Allen than an accent and four letter words.

This reggae tinged album rocks staccato eighth note rhythms that conjure The Clash or Gang of Four. Her cockneyed sneer is reminiscent of the Sex Pistols. Allen also works in traces of trip hop with shades of the Sneaker Pimps and Estero. Her melodies are bubble gum catchy and absolutely hummable. And yes, she is a master of irony. "Everything is Just Wonderful" is as upbeat and sunshiny as a song can be but the lyrics tell a different story " Why can't I sleep at night/Don't say it's gonna be alright/I wanna be able to eat spaghetti bolognaise/and not feel bad about it for days and days and days."

While there are definitely the elements of Scary Spice on this album, "Take What you Take" comes to mind, the album demonstrates that an artist can be Top 40, plainspoken, and someone to take seriously. Alright, Still may not establish itself in the annals of rock history, but it is certainly worth a second listen. - Recommended

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1 comment:

jon144k.com said...

i saw her on SNL and was surprised because of the reggae elements.

at first i was turned off because it's pop, but after seeing a rerun of the show, the sound is growing on me...