Review Summary: Solid summer album for the car
At first look Lily Allen
may look like an innocent young lady. She was raised in a privileged family in the UK, attending expensive private schools. You would like to think she was preparing to be a duchess of sorts. Knowing that she actually was expelled from many of those private schools, she may not be so innocent.
That same sweet and sour persona comes out in her debut LP Alright, Still. The songs achieve a great pop sound isn't really found in the mainstream. Let me try to describe the sound with a scenario: walking down a city street mid day with the sun shining on your face; that is what this album is made for.
Now the album has been out for a few months, and if you aren’t from the Americas the hit single “Smile” might be getting a bit old. But nonetheless it is a solid track and it made its way to #1 in the UK charts and it even made it to #7 on Rolling Stone’s Top Songs of 2006. Other singles include LDN and Littlest Things.
LDN, much like Smile, will have you singing along. Starts out with blasting horns, which continue in a background for the rest of the song. Littlest Things is a bit more on the melancholy side of things. The only song made for that occasional rainy day. Everything is perfect on this track from the piano to the bridge to the chorus. Other stand out songs is Not Big, Shame for You, Friend of Mine and Alfie. Not Big having an obvious sexual innuendo of the man not being “big” enough. On the other hand, the song Alfie pokes fun at her little brother. Definitely one of the goofiest pop songs you'll hear.
I will be the first to admit Lily Allen doesn’t have a great voice. She has a nice voice that makes fit to the songs but she isn’t the most capable or explored compared to other women in music. She really likes to focus on the lyrics. The lyrics come off very amusing and LDN is a great example.
There was a little old lady, who was walkin down the road
She was struggling with bags from Tesco
There were people from the city having lunch in the park
I believe that it's called al fresco
Lily Allen has been influenced by The Specials and it really shows in her music. Tracks like Smile, LDN, Not Big, Friday Night, and Friend of Mine all show huge ska influence. So obviously while I was in Europe this summer the song Smile caught my ear, and turned me into a fan. Other than being ska influenced there is also some R&B and Britpop. The music is simple and nothing too complex, but any Violent Femmes fan will agree simple is just as good as complex.
All in all she is a pop star, but she isn’t your next Britney Spears dancing in spandex. Her music isn’t all marshmallows and gum drops. She has some real music that can be enjoyed by many, even ones that may not like to admit it. There is a song or two that may have you looking at your >> button, but over all this album is a solid summer album for the car.