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

Capitol Records - February 9, 2009

by Jackie Lee King

Lily Allen, It's Not Me, It's YouContinually cheeky and ready for action, Lily Allen is back with her second record which is a little more biting and introspective than her first. It's Not Me, It's You should have been called Star Wars: Lily Strikes Back!, due to the amount of biting social commentary. The first track on the record, Everyone's At It, is a call up, to own up, to a pill-popping escapist society. She's not denying her partying ways, but she's advocating a limit and to just be honest with yourself instead of trying to sweep things under the rug.  No one is perfect in this world, so why don't we all admit it?

Taking on the world, or more importantly taking the world, is the theme of the lead single, The Fear. We are bombarded with distorted images of success and excess which makes it hard to find a benchmark of normalcy. We absolve ourselves of responsibility to keep up with this week's Celebutant by blaming it on a consumer culture financed over our debt bodies.

"And I am a weapon of massive consumption
and it's not my fault it's how I'm program to function
I'll look at the sun and I'll look in the mirror
I'm on the right track yeah I'm on to a winner"

The song 22 is searing sociological track which offers no solace for twenty-something ladies looking for love. They have decent jobs and hope for a relationship in lieu of a one night stand. Why do they become unworthy after a certain period of time? There should be a 'cougar clause' that allows them more time to find the right guy. So 'man of her dreams' step up or get bent!

The majority of the release Lily continues her frolicking commentary of less than laudable lovers, but what really shines is the song, Who'd have Known. This 70's pop ballad pays homage to just seeing how a relationship goes and not to apply any additional pressure. She's positively giddy in noting the little games of affection that couples play in the beginning of a relationship, it's lovely.

The song, Him, meanders into a myriad of queries that you and your mates may pose about God over a pint at the pub. The conversational witticisms ponder a humanistic view of the Almighty; though I really doubt that God's favorite band would be 'Credence Clearwater Revival.' Who knows? Bob's your uncle!

Lily's little girl whispery come hither voice mixed with plucky arrangements really stretch the concept of what Brit-Pop music is all about. It's fun listening to how she balances a bawdy tale with child like innocence and play. She licks your auditory lobes lovingly but still gets her point across without having to raise her voice or bite down. She says things so softly that you doubt her sincerity when she asks you never to call her again. So please, don't be offended, Lily's just telling you how it is; believe her when she says, It's Not Me, It's You.

  1. Everyone's At It 4:38
  2. The Fear 3:27
  3. Not Fair 3:21
  4. 22 3:06
  5. I Could Say 4:04
  6. Back To The Start 4:14
  7. Never Gonna Happen 3:28
  8. Fuck You 3:43
  9. Who'd Have Known 3:50
  10. Chinese 3:28
  11. Him 3:17
  12. He Wasn't There 2:51