During my time working in a well known supermarket chain who wear lime green uniforms I worked on the Music & Video section for a considerable amount of time– In this time I picked up a fair few albums I perhaps wouldn’t have if I wasn’t exposed to them in the way I was while working there.
One of those records is It’s Not Me, It’s You by Lily Allen.
I was taken in by the honesty and melancholy of The Fear when I heard it on the radio, a song which takes issue with modern society and the media’s impact on the general public –This was more than enough to peak my interest and purchase the album.
Lily Allen’s fizzy, fiercely attitudinal 2007 debut, Alright, Still, sold more than 2.5 million copies worldwide, made the Londoner one of Britain’s tabloid fixtures and spawned an industry of Lily wanna-be’s including Kate Nash, Jessie J and Pixie Lott.
So onto the difficult second album– It’s Not Me, It’s You is more musically eclectic, while retaining the thumping Rock-Steady roots of Alright, Still without sacrificing catchiness or dance-floor bounce which made her debut so well received.
We’ll be taking a look at 3 of my favourite tracks from the album– a difficult choice given how many cracking songs are on this record.
The albums opener is my favourite track– things start off with a sombre guitar intro and a softly sung verse before the song’s synth driven (almost trance like) sound kicks in. The chorus is catchy with a melancholic melody– Panpipe hooks also add an extra dimension to the song.
the song is a satire of materialism, and tackles societal consumerism and overnight fame hunting. It also makes reference, through the line “I’ll look at The Sun and I’ll look in The Mirror”, at the daily British tabloid national newspapers The Sun and Daily Mirror, which often report on Allen, A classic Lily Allen song and in my opinion, her best song to date.
Another single from the record, Not Fair is a catchy country & western style song about Lily’s “would be” perfect partner– if it wasn’t for his laziness in the bedroom department.
The song has a driving beat and classic c & w instruments including Banjo, Slide Guitar, Double Bass and Harmonica.
Critics did not positively receive the song and its theme, some calling it a “pseudo country track” and considering it a strange musical composition– not that I care, its one of my favourites because of its catchy hooks, original sound when compared to the rest of the album and its satirical jibes at lazy relationships.
Another single, and the third track on the album (my one minor gripe with the record, the pacing is a little off as the best songs tend to be all at the start making the second half of the album a little forgettable)
22 takes issue with women who use their looks to get by in life, women who do not have a stable career, any future prospects or aspirations– Inevitably by the time they realise this its too late.
Musically the song is catchy with ethereal verses breaking into a driving chorus– while piano, synths and percussion are used for the background music, with occasional flourishes from harpsichord and organ which give the song character and an almost Beatles-esque quality.
So this record is considered to be up there as Lily Allen’s best work alongside Alright, Still– It was the first record I listened to by her and one which gave me a fair amount of enjoyment, I still pop it on every so often if I need a pop lift and it always does the trick.
Keep checking back for more Classics Corner content in the future.
Keep it loud.