Vinyl Record & CD
|No. of Discs:||2|
New album includes "Hard Out Here," "Air Balloon" and "Our Time"
180-gram vinyl includes album CD with bonus track "Somewhere Only We Know"
Contrary, contradictory, occasionally catty, always compelling, Lily Allen is Britain's most consistently engaged and engaging pop star, as well as one of the U.K.'s most successful.
She first commandeered the public stage in July 2006, a fully formed phenomenon with a song that would help define that summer, the hugely infectious "Smile," her first CD single and her first U.K. number one. "Smile" served as an excellent primer for the Allen oeuvre, a breezy, lilting, ska-inflected slice of perfect pop distinguished by sugar-sweet vocals and unflinchingly autobiographical lyrics.
Sheezus was produced by DJ Dahi, Greg Kurstin, and Shellback. Allen chose to lay silent for half a decade, choosing to pursue a family life instead of the pop charts, but, at least by pop standards, Sheezus shows she knows how to get back in the ring, writes the Boston Globe. She opens her comeback album with the line "Don't let my kids watch me when I get in the ring" — parental guidance designed, writes The Independent, to protect her offspring from seeing how artfully she slices up opponents.
The title track takes swipes at Rihanna, Katy Perry, Beyonce, Lorde and Lady Gaga. The subtext is clear: Allen is no provincial pop star, she belongs in the big leagues. Musically, Lily and main producer Greg Kurstin have devised a light, fashion-free range of arrangements which carefully avoid the standard electro-disco settings favoured by Katy, Kylie, Gaga and Ri-Ri and emphasising the primacy of her lyrical content.
There's plent of charmers on Sheezus, a snarky, hook-filled romp with armfuls of bluster, moxie and melody. Her quasi-Cockney accent segues into witty wordplay and crazy-good choruses and those hallmarks are front and center on "Sheezus." Ditto for "L8 CMMR," the doe-eyed valentine to her husband and the buttery and breezy first single "Air Balloon." The latter is a charming slice of ridiculously catchy radio pop that goes down easy and lingers long after its done. Already three songs in and she already has three proverbial chart-toppers. That trend continues on "Our Time," arguably the weakest of the first four but still engaging enough to draw the masses.
|Take My Place|
|As Long As I Got You|
|Close Your Eyes|
|Life For Me|
|Hard Out Here|