Lily Allen was set up as the prime target of the British tabloids during 2008. Since her debut album “Alright Still” was released in 2006, Allen has had a miscarriage and has been accused of a drinking and partying problem, proving that she has been anything but alright. However, she managed to take out all her problems through her music, and thus, returned with a follow-up album, “It’s Not Me, It’s You.” It becomes quite apparent a few minutes into the album that the playful sounds that gave rise to Allen’s fame have been replaced by lyrics concerning real issues.
The first single off the album, “The Fear,” has been up on Allen’s Myspace profile for months, and while the name of the song changed frequently, it gave a clear message that she would not be singing about her brother’s marijuana habits. The song contains strong techno beats rather than meshing together trumpets, trombones and piano beats to make Allen’s ska-reggae vibe. After being constantly scrutinized by the media and labeled as a London party girl, Allen lets listeners into her head on her U.K. fame.
An on-and-off three-year relationship with a DJ inspired the track “I Could Say.” Allen lets it be known that she is truly ready to move forward. The gentle introductory piano soon becomes forgotten by the gradually faster techno beat that takes over the track. Allen sings, “Now you’re gone / it’s as if the whole wide world is my stage / Now you’re gone / it’s like I’ve been let out of my cage.”
The British songstress does not only touch on heartbreak, but she also shows listeners her less frequently seen softer and smitten side in the tracks “Chinese” and “Who’d of Known?” Both tracks contain stronger drumbeats, almost reminiscent of a heartbeat. The giddy girl within Lily can even be heard in her voice. Listens can practically feel the smile on her face as she sings, “And today you accidentally called me baby.”
For those yearning for Allen’s old catchy and quirky ways with words, the track “Not Fair” will surely please them. The song reflects on a sexual partner’s impotency and contains a country western galloping backbeat. Another song serves as an open and angry letter to former American president George W. Bush.
Lily Allen is no longer the 21 year-old woman annoyed with guys hitting on her at bars and girls snickering at her in nightclubs as she sang back in “Alright Still.” Now, at 23, Allen has matured, not only as a person, but also as a songwriter. Her new album lets her fans understand the person that she has become and proves that she has been through more than just a hang over in the past three years.