Song of the Day #4,657: ‘Chinese’ – Lily Allen

‘Chinese’ is one of my favorite tracks from Lily Allen’s 2009 album It’s Not Me, It’s You. I like it even more after learning, just now, that it’s about her mother.

I always assumed it was about a romantic relationship, but the lyrics about returning home to a comforting meal, relaxing, and being lovingly reassured make a lot more sense when you know she’s writing about a parent.

Continue reading

Song of the Day #536: ‘Who’d Have Known’ – Lily Allen

Best Songs of 2009 – #5

I recently named Lily Allen’s Alright, Still on my list of the last decade’s best album so that gives you an idea of the act her sophomore release, It’s Not Me, It’s You, had to follow. This album wasn’t the equal of that one but it was great nonetheless, mining some new territory for Allen while legitimizing the acclaim she received for her debut.

As smart and sarcastic as Allen can be, and as withering with a put-down, I’ve always been most intrigued by her more romantic material. I suppose a sweet song from a bitter person feels more earned somehow.

Continue reading

Song of the Day #330: ’22’ – Lily Allen

lilyallenIt’s funny how you become a fan.

Often you just know… you know 30 seconds into the first song you hear by a new artist that they own you. I felt that way about Ben Folds, Elvis Costello, Tift Merritt, Josh Rouse, Belle and Sebastian and many others.

Other times you miss the boat completely and then circle back to catch up later. My favorite example is Lucinda Williams, whom I heard and shrugged off before revisiting her months later and falling hard. Another is Beck, whose Odelay initially went over my head. I rediscovered him through the laid-back Mutations and now I love it all.

Continue reading

Lily Allen – It’s Not Me, It’s You

notmeitsLily Allen’s second album, It’s Not Me, It’s You, sticks to the template of her smash debut Alright, Still — cheeky pop songs driven by piano and percussion — but introduces a hit-and-miss element of social consciousness.

That element is most apparent on strong opening track ‘Everyone’s At It’, about the abuse of both illegal and prescription drugs, and ‘Fuck You,’ a shot at G.W. Bush that feels about two years too late. That track, with it’s candy-sweet piano line and infectious chorus, would have made a great break-up song but it sinks fast as political commentary. It almost makes you feel bad for Bush. Almost.

Continue reading