It's Not Me It's You

by Lily Allen

With all the attention Lily gets (rightly or wrongly), it feels like she’s been around for forever and a fortnight. The truth of it is however, is this is only her second album. Although listening to it, you could be forgiven for thinking it was a cosy little extension to her detached debut, which is no bad thing necessarily.

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

There is, you see, a pattern here. Of course, she’s still got the whole ‘mockney’ thing going on, which is fine. Then there’s the content. There’s once again an autobiographical feel to many of her songs, making much of this sound like an angst-fuelled blog set to music.

The first track Everyone’s At It is Lily’s little say on drug culture. With a sweeping generic take on things, it sounds a little like a theme to a Government anti-drugs initiative campaign, with the woolly mentality of Grange Hill’s Just Say No, mixed with a Sesame Street awareness vibe.

It’s a similar approach for Lily’s stance on religion, where she contemplates who God would vote for on Him, along with references to 9/11 and hijacking planes. Although it’s commendable to tackle the varied issues of religion in three minutes and fifteen seconds, the song ultimately falls flat on its arse. That’s what you get for second-guessing the Almighty.

She’s really at her best when she’s washing her personal laundry in our ears, on a spiky spin cycle. Not Fair could quite easily be the stand out track of the album. It’s the story of a woman in a seemingly healthy relationship, only to be let down in one department. That’s right, with the sexy time. It’s a cracking indictment on one man’s inability to pleasure his lady. Not only is it written with a dry sense of wit, it also makes you feel kind of sorry for the guy. However, it doesn’t stop there, as the story is told over a country and western theme. Why? Who knows, but it does work. Beautifully.

She will have to be careful with this technique though, as she’s using it quite a bit. Sure, to good effect with the likes of this and her Jamaican lilting hit LDN; and it kind of works with Never Gonna Happen, where she tells an old flame it’s definitely over this time, set to an Italian theme with authentic restaurant accordion. It’s beginning to feel like a game in Whose Line Is It Anyway?... Next: teenage abortion in the style of Bollywood? Or how about coping with an STD in the style of a cockney knees up? It could grow tiring very quickly if she’s not careful.

Still, for only her second album, it has the charm and some of the whimsy of her debut. You have to wonder though, whether quirky tunes and blog-like lyrics will be enough to sustain her career. If she’s still singing about giving blow jobs when she’s forty, the answer will be a resounding ‘no’.

three out of five