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Lily Allen

Some British pop stars don’t deserve to make it across the pond or around the world. No amount of trying made Robbie Williams catch on, and that’s a good thing. Lily Allen made a minor splash in 2006 when she released her debut album, Alright Still, which featured Caribbean and reggae influenced songs like “Smile” and “LDN” that became pop hipster anthems. At a time when indie music was mighty white, Allen was a white girl who seemed to get it. Plus, she had a sense of humor.

Through a series of personal setbacks and health issues — both physical and mental — her bubbly, funny girl persona has gradually turned on itself. In her later work, Allen’s sound became more electronic and charged with anger, retaining that trademark sense of humor with a biting edge and lyrics that criticized the music industry for its unrealistic expectations of female artists. The title of a song like “Fuck You” speaks for itself, but she goes even further in railing at society at large for its homophobia, bigotry and misogyny.

Allen’s most recent album, No Shame, merged the electronic sound she developed with the Caribbean musical influences of her early work and reunited her with producer Mark Ronson.

The song “Alfie” from her debut album complains about her younger brother wasting his potential. Today, Alfie is best known for his acting roles in Game of Thrones or as the guy who killed John Wick’s dog. 

Interestingly, as Allen’s style turned more towards the electropop influence that would increasingly define popular music and the empowered feminism that other artists would successfully adopt, it seemed to backfire on her. She found herself mired in controversies for her views on the industry, other female artists, cultural appropriation, politics, etc. Although widespread success has eluded her, her music deserves more recognition for its intelligent pop sensibilities and the defiant, even satirical personas she creates on each new album.

One comment

  1. Marquis de Shade ( User Karma: 6 ) says:

    Had no idea she was Theon’s sister! She calls him a twat in that song even though he’s probably more successful than she is now LOL. “Fuck You” is a classic imho.

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