Review Summary: A unique, solid pop album from start to finish
Chav. Mockney. Loudmouth.
These are just a few of the names that have been used to describe Lily Allen since she stormed onto the scene with her debut single Smile. And OK, from the video, with her fluorescent pink eye shadow and bountiful supply of bling and her 'whatever' attitude, she does seem to be the ultimate chav (a word I hate, by the way). However, if you take the time to look into her life story, Lily Rose Beatrice Allen has had quite the opposite upbringing: instead of growing up on a deprived council estate, she's the daughter of actor Keith Allen and has spent her education in posh boarding schools. This brings us onto the 'Mockney' taunts - with her hatred of the letter T and love of working-class British slang, she doesn't exactly sound 'Made In Chelsea', but if that's the kind of person she wants to be, so what? She's just being true to herself.
Rant over - onto the album. It's undoubtedly one of the best pop albums to come out of the Noughties, and a fantastic debut - the only negative thing about the UK version is that it's excluded the brilliant 'Nan, You're A Window Shopper'. The album kicks off with Smile, which was also the first single and the track that brought her to the public's attention. The feisty lyrics, the ska beats, that UK flavour, all mixed together to create a top-class pop song that kicked Pussycat Dolls, Girls Aloud and other charted pop artists up the arse.
Then comes Knock 'Em Out, where Lily is like the female equivalent to The Streets' Mike Skinner. LDN seems to hit back at the view that most foreigners seem to have of England: that it's classy, clean and picturesque, when in reality it's nothing like that - Lily gives out this message in this track in a way similar to Lady Sovereign does on her song, My England. Next comes one of my favourites, Everything's Just Wonderful, where Lily sings about 21st century life, with its obsession with looks and staying thin and not being allowed to get her own flat. Not Big and Shame For You hit back at her ex-boyfriends who've messed her around in a very tongue-in-cheek way, with fantastic lyrics. Friday Night documents perfectly the typical night out in the UK, and Littlest Things, which is probably my least favourite but still good nontheless, talks about how much she misses her ex. Take What You Take, although Lily later said she 'hated everything about that f***ing song, is another standout for me, as is the penultimate Friend Of Mine, which tells us about Lily's friend who is now a drug addict. Then, finally, the cheeky Alfie, where she tells her little brother to 'get off his lazy arse and use his brain'.
So ends the storming debut album from Miss Allen. Sadly, her second album didn't quite live up to the brilliance of Alright, Still, and it's a shame that she's only done two albums, even if they're two of the finest pop albums ever recorded. But still, top marks for this album.
OVERALL RATING: 5 Stars.