Damn Good Music: Lily Allen


Lily Allen is 24 year old British pop musician/singer. In my personal opinion one of the greatest artists around. Her music is brilliant varied, catchy enticing melodies and sneakily smart, funny lyrics. Currently touring in the UK she has two albums, both exceptionally impressive.



Songs
Her musical style varies from straight out pop to folk to country to drum and bass to big band.
Here are a few of my favourites as listing ever Lily Allen song would take a lot of time and I’m not sure I can summon the energy to list everything, so here is my favourite songs from her first and second album.
(All the links are Spotify links so don’t click them unless you have Spotify open.)

Alright, Still
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Alright, Still was her debut album released in July 2006.

Smile
Smile was her first single written about a ex-boyfriend who cheated on her, is catchy piece of pop music containing various ska injections. Being the first song I ever heard her sing it was quite a surprise to hear the lyrics “Every time I see you cry, it makes me smile”, I was in a plain state of “what”, then my sister proceeded to try and find it on any music channels all day long. An extremely catchy song which really clings to your mind, and of course it’s really really good.

Not Big
Not Big is another song about an ex-boyfriend, but this time one who she breaks up because frankly he’s shit in bed. Again nifty lyrics and a great beat, a bit awkward to listen as a male the first few times, because as the song is directly aimed as if she was speaking to this ex, so feels like a string of very harsh insults coming your way.

Friday Night
Friday Night, a song about over-arrogant sluts who she has come across when out on the town, great because it’s pretty funny, superb melody and all around decent song.

Shame For You
Shame For You a song seemingly about an over zealous man trying to get with her. Probably my favourite song on the album, absolutely fantastic beat and melody which is mesmerizing and nifty enjambment lyrics which make it a song of pure excellence. Makes me wish she released it as a single because a music video would be very fitting to this song, shame.

Alfie
Alfie is a song about her little brother Alfie Owen Allen, the song has a wonderful child’s song feel to it as she refers to smoking pot and getting laid, making it a nice contrast (something she’s very good at), but also it has a personal place in my heart as it reminds me of my sister and our love-hate relationship. But of course minus the weed smoking and fitted caps, obviously.

Not to say any of the other songs on Alright, Still are sub-standard, they are all brilliant, just some are slightly more brilliant than others. Knock ‘Em Out a great song about unwanted attention on nights out, LDN A jolly satirical look at London, Everything’s just wonderful a social commentary about the various troubles for young people in Britain, Littlest Things a slow, sad song about her ex who she reminisces about, Take what you take a superbly catchy song about independence from the older generation, Friend of Mine a funky reggae related song about a friend of her’s (duh) who is sleeping around and generally making a fool of herself, to the point were Allen doesn’t want to be her friend as she’s changed too much.





It’s Not Me, It’s you
It’s Not Me, It’s you is her second album, and I personally prefer it, released in February 2009 it includes more variety and even more interesting subject matter for songs. It’s very difficult for me not to list all the songs in this album, as it’s one of the few albums in the world which I like every song, but I’ve cut four songs out of it, that’s a fair trade.

Everyone’s At It
Everyone’s At It is the leading track on her second album, if she placed this one to make a impression on someone listening to the album for the first time, she sure as hell made a good choice. It’s a mixture of drum and bass, dance and pop, which leaves a lasting mark which it’s fantastic sounding backing and beat. The lyrics are referring the legal and illegal drug use, She seems more concerned with people using drugs for practically any problem they face, such as depression. Not only that, but she refers to everyone as a drug users “From Politicians to young adolescents, prescribing themselves antidepressants”. So all in all this a excellent song with a thought provoking theme.

The Fear
The Fear was her first released single of the new album (In the UK) and again another thought-provoking theme with superb lyrics. She half from the prospect of how she believes some of the western world thinks and then in the chorus as her fear about their thoughts. The thoughts are concerned with materialism and selfishness created through media and consumerism. In an interview she said she was sick of being asked what “The Fear” was, so now she just answers “Paris Hilton is the fear”. Couple the frightening world she refers too with a curiously claiming melody, and amazing pop/folk song.

Not Fair
Not Fair is her second single and is back on track with a primarily comedic song about another ex-boyfriend who she considers the perfect guy expect for the fact he’s absolutely crap in the sack and seemingly selfish in it too, in contrast to his incredibly sensitive demure anywhere else. It’s primarily set out with a country and western beat, which considering I’m really not a fan country music is catchy and dance worthy. It’s pretty weird to enjoy singing along to song with the line “I lie here in the wet patch in the middle of the bed, i’m feeling pretty damn hard done by I spent ages giving head.” but I can’t help it, it’s awesome.

22
22 is the third single from the Album which is pop song through in and through out in terms of melody and beat, lyrics however are a different story. Telling the plight of a thirty year-old woman who had a bright future ahead of her when she was 22, but now finds her self seven years later with nothing to hope for but “until the man of her dreams comes along, picks her up, and puts her over his shoulders.”, Allen refers to the woman as someone who was very pretty and it allowed to get most things she wanted, but all of sudden her looks had faded further and she was unable to use them to float through life. I’m quite fond of that line about the man of her dreams, as generally you’d expect the words “Man of her dreams” to be followed by “sweep her of her feet” but it has a more aggressive less romantic feel to it, I just really like the intelligence choice of words behind it. So all in all, a great song.

Back to the start
Back To The Start is (in terms of musical style) a similar to Everyone’s At It, a mixture of drum and bass, dance and pop using distortion in the music. The song is about a friend or family member of Allen’s who she was jealous of for being “the taller and prettier one” and then decided to shun, embarrass and dislike for far longer than she felt the grudge reside within her. I thoroughly enjoy it’s beat and style, a superb song.
Never Gonna Happen
Never Gonna Happen is another comedic song about a clingy guy she was toying with and then decided not to go out with him, but doesn’t make it very clear by first telling him “I never want to see you again”, and then ringing him up again because she feels lonely, then later stating “How can I be anymore obvious?”. It’s got a very funky unusual melody and beat using what I think is an accordion. I literally could listen to this song all day.

Fuck You
Fuck You, a song originally written about the British National Party, now widely about any bigot, racist or conservative/republican party member. Sounding like a Christmas song by melody and then repeating “Fuck You” regularly throughout the song makes for a genius hilarious juxtaposition. Bizarrely released as a single, a great song no question, but a strange choice for a single.

He Wasn’t There
He Wasn’t There is a song written about her Dad (Keith Allen), who seems wasn’t the best parent around until it came to later in her life and helping her out with her musical career. It has a wonderful jazz band style to beat, which brings a smile to my face every time I listen to it.
Of course much like the first album the rest of the songs are pure musical gold.
I Could Say is a song about a ex-boyfriend who she breaks up with because she feels like he’s dragging her down, turns out she’s right. It’s great somber song, Who’d Have Known is a catchy acoustic sounding pop song about getting together with someone after months of reserved flirting, it’s a happy, jolly song which is a nice antidote to the some of the comedic venom of the other songs, Him is a simple slow song about if God existed, what would he think of humanity? More of a focus on humanity’s behavior than the concept of God itself, Chinese is another simple slow song about being with someone and just relaxing with them, nice, calm and amusing.

And if you really feel like listening to more (which I’m sure you do) have a look at her covers:
Mr.Blue Sky
Everybody’s Changing
Naive
Womanizer (YouTube Link)

So that’s what I think about Lily Allen’s music. My second favourite artist ever, hope you take a listen!

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