Showing posts with label lily allen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lily allen. Show all posts

Saturday, June 30, 2018

album reviews: 'no shame' by lily allen / 'bigger' by sugarland / 'paid in exposure' by natewantstobattle / 'dan + shay' by dan + shay (VACATION)

So yeah, this was a mess - and about the last video I was prepared to deal with copyright bullshit about, but such is the age we live in. Anyway, midyear video is coming, so stay tuned!

Monday, May 5, 2014

video review: 'sheezus' by lily allen

Well, glad I could finally get this out. Fascinating album and definitely worth listening through if only to talk about it, because I get the feeling this one will inspire some real debate.

Okay, Lykke Li up next. Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

album review: 'sheezus' by lily allen

I've got a complicated relationship with Lily Allen.

See, for the longest time, she was one of the most frustrating artists I've ever listened to, an act with very clear talent in instrumentation and songwriting, and I could tell she was genuinely clever and had a knack for incisive, biting songwriting. But every time I'd go back to that first album Alright, Still, I despised it more and more every single time. The rational part of my brain was telling me it wasn't a bad record, but for the life of me, I hated the framing of that album, overloaded with vapid, spiteful bitchiness that screamed of self-aware hypocrisy but didn't have the nuance or depth to really justify it. I'm told this is a British thing in how Lily Allen is supposed to be funny, but for me it was aggressively the opposite. My issue was always in the framing, which was trying to paint Lily Allen as at least a flawed protagonist figure who was skewering shallow mainstream culture, and while there was some self-awareness at how awful she came across, it was never enough to support her hollow justifications and I never felt her rather inert delivery was cute or charming or interesting enough to ignore it.

Thankfully, she seemed to clue into this problem in time for her second album It's Not Me It's You, which I liked a bit more in making Lily Allen a little more sympathetic and the framing a little more intelligent. But at the same time, the songwriting went broader in its portrayal of her newfound maturity, and her stabs at 'deeper' topics like religion and politics were shallow at best, almost cartoonish to the point of not being able to take seriously. On top of that, her instrumentation was even more of a mixed bag, displaying more influences and styles but some seriously obnoxious hooks. And the more I listened to the album, the more I got the impression that Lily Allen was never really trying or had her heart in her music - which she flat out admitted after the release of that album and then proceeded to take a five year hiatus. 

But now she's back with an album titled Sheezus, a title modeled off of Kanye West's controversial and critically acclaimed album that came out last year. And honestly, I was intrigued where she was going with this, because there are recognizable similarities between both artists. For one, they both have a tendency to mix genres in unconventional ways, they both can be insightful and somewhat self-aware songwriters about how terrible they can come across, and yet they both have egos the size of the British Isles and can be overwhelmingly full of shit. So I figured even if the album sucked, it'd still be interesting, so I gave it a few listens - how did it turn out?