Flashback Friday: Lily Allen

By Kegan Gaspar.

In the wake of Lily Allen’s infectious new single, a collaboration with Giggs entitled “Trigger Banger”, this week’s Flashback Friday will reflect on her witty and razor sharp albums that have entrenched Allen in the minds and hearts of musical lovers world wide.

After establishing a fanbase on social media website MySpace, Lily Allen splashed onto the music scene with her 2006 debut album, Alright, Still. The album yielded singles like acidic “Smile” and endlessly entertaining “LDN”. Anyone who says that this album didn’t make its way onto their radar in 2006/2007 is an absolute liar. Lily was everywhere, from radio to TV, soaking us all in a rainfall of her trademark wit. The album also houses often neglected gems like “Knock Em’ Out”, “Littlest Things” and “Everything’s Just Wonderful” that showcase the wit that caused the world to stop and pay Allen the attention she so rightly deserved.

In 2009 Allen released her delightful follow-up album, It’s Not Me, It’s You.  The album was preceded by the lead single, “The Fear”, which saw Allen questioning the anxieties caused by the need for affluence and fame. The single was also a sarcastic examination of society’s obsessive consumerism. The album also yielded the classic singles like “22”, a lament focused on the pressures that society places on women as they age, “Fuck You”, an entertainingly scathing examination of George W. Bush, and the hilarious “Not Fair”, a thorough exposition of female dissatisfaction with male sexual selfishness. In addition to the well-loved singles, It’s Not Me, It’s You also contains the personal “Back to the Start” and the brilliant “Him”. Personally, Allen’s second album is my favourite of her releases and it was a daily soundtrack during my high school days.

2014 brought Allen’s third album, Sheezus. Although certain critics felt that the album was lacking enough of Allen’s acidic lyrical wit, songs like “Hard Out Here”, the album’s lead single, “Sheezus”, “Insincerely Yours” and “URL Badman” are some of Allen’s most trenchant musical moments. The album was slightly more personal than Allen’s previous releases, influenced by her marriage and motherhood, but this only strengthened the album with insightful songs like the vulnerable “Close Your Eyes” and the beautiful yet anxious “Take My Place”. The album showcased Allen’s ability to couple entrancing beats with a versatile and elastic lyrical prowess that only Lily Allen can pull off.

At the end of 2017, Allen’s recently-released Giggs collaboration, “Trigger Bang” came along. The song is typical Allen, exploring addictions and the “cool gangs” that trigger them with a marvelously effortless finesse. Allen’s releases have consistently showcased her talent at tackling serious subject matter to infectious and up-beat music and I think it’s safe to say that we’ll never have another artist like her.

I eagerly await Allen’s fourth album as I’m sure will be yet another ingenious display of Allen’s distinctive prowess.