<i>It's Not Me, It's You</i> defies stereotypes
The album offers listeners an edgy pop vibe mixed with cynical lyrics.
Jan. 26, 2009
Lily Allen is back with a strong, feminine album, It's Not Me, It's You, packed with cynical lyrics and topics including drug use, insecure women, politicians and the rich and famous. Allen juxtaposes poppy, seemingly upbeat vocals with underlying, dark lyrical content. She also uses elements of success from her last album, Alright, Still but has matured significantly, setting her apart from others in her genre.
Allen's new tracks are very tongue-in-cheek. The ironically bubbly track, "Fuck You," criticizes former President George Bush for being, in her opinion, slow and close-minded.
"So you say it's not OK to be gay?" she sings. "Well I think you're just evil. You're just some racist who can't tie my laces. Your point of view is medieval."
She also comments on the upper class, starting her single "The Fear" by singing, "I want to be rich, and I want lots of money. I don't care about clever. I don't care about funny. I want loads of clothes and fuckloads of diamonds. I heard people die while they are trying to find them."
The album is incredibly poppy, but it is set apart with intelligent, biting lyrics about substantial issues. Unlike Allen's debut single, "Smile," the songs on It's Not Me, It's You have less hooks and more depth and variance. Many of the tracks are nostalgic, with Allen's singsong voice laid over an old time piano, such as in "Fuck You" or "22." The album varies by using orchestra tones, such as in "I Could Say." She also uses electronic synth and beats in other songs, such as "The Fear." Allen has much more substance on her second album, not allowing herself to slip through the cracks like many debut artists do after initial success. She instead thrives as not just another weekly MySpace artist.
It's Not Me, It's You is mostly directed at a female audience, with many topics to which women can relate. The album might not be popular with the male demographic, but it is perfect for a girls' night out or for after bad break-up. Allen also does a great job appealing to Top 40 fans, but also agrees with alternative listeners. She maintains credibility by being very listenable upfront but having more to say with a second run-through of the album.
Many ingredients of It's Not Me, It's You have been overplayed and overused by other female vocalists in Allen's genre. With her incorporation of meaningful messages and influences from other types of music, Allen overcomes the stereotypical poppy female image and makes a name for herself.