Song of the Day #2,185: ‘Air Balloon’ – Lily Allen

lily_allen_sheezusMy only musical real disappointment of the year so far is Sheezus, the long-awaited third album by British star Lily Allen.

Allen’s first two albums were unpredictable delights, brimming with creative arrangements, snarky lyrics and a brash attitude that set her apart from her contemporaries.

Following her second album, she went on hiatus, having a couple of kids and threatening to quit the music business.

Now she’s back, seemingly with something to prove. Many of the songs on Sheezus comment directly on the music landscape, her competition, abusive fans… the sort of topics that don’t make for very interesting pop songs.

Allen was at her best when bringing to life on record the dizzy social life of a young woman in London. I want to hear from the girl who was turned away at the entrance to the club, not the one arguing over how high her name should be on the marquee.

Musically, Sheezus leans toward electro-pop and dance beats with mixed results, though a couple of detours into world music and country prove interesting.

Today’s tracks, among my favorites on the album, is a pretty direct nod to M.I.A.

I hope this album helps Allen shake off the rust because I still believe she’s a unique talent. It’s just a shame she had to cut a record reminding herself of that fact.

[Verse 1]
Somebody remind me where I am, Miami or Timbuktu?
Did I ever tell you my uncle’s monkey ran away from the zoo?
Would you tell me what this all means?
What happens if I go through that door?
Cause I’m looking up at the ceiling but it’s turning into the floor

When I’m bored I kind of drift away
I’m not sure, quite, why we work all day
I’ve been thinking and I’ve got this plan
Let’s go, right now

Come meet me in the sky, I’ll be waiting for you
And we can’t hear what they say
Up in my air balloon, air balloon, air balloon
Sing sing along along any song you want to
Now we’re so high it can’t rain
Up in my air balloon, air balloon, air balloon

[Verse 2]
I don’t like dropping names but Kurt Cobain is all in my face
How the hell am I gonna tell him Elvis already took first place
And then out of the blue this cruise is losing altitude
All we need is a little more elevation
Take me back to where I can breathe



Shake it, sh-shake it now
Gimme, gi-gimme gimme some
Sailing s-sailing through the clouds
Trippin’, tri-tri-trippin’ now

One thought on “Song of the Day #2,185: ‘Air Balloon’ – Lily Allen

  1. Dana says:

    I’m a bit surprised by your review of Allen’s album as I really liked the title track you featured months ago. And I’m not sure why you would find the subjects she is now choosing to cover less interesting than those she covered as a younger artist. I think it would be disingenuous for her to write about things that are no longer a part of her life.

    Anyway, on first listen, today’s song is okay, a bit Katy Perry-esque, but not as compelling or provocative as other stuff I have heard from Allen.

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