Monday, 5 May 2014

ALBUM REVIEW: Lily Allen- Sheezus

I've been pretty excited about this album for a while now. In 2009 I was obsessed with Lily Allen when she released her second album "It's Not Me, It's You" which spawned the fantastic singles "The Fear", "Not Fair" and "22". However having disappeared from the music scene for a few years I'd kind of forgotten about her musically until she released her single "Hard Out Here". This song and the release of the other promotional singles for "Sheezus" completely relit the obsession. "Sheezus" sees Lily Allen take a more pop-culture influenced direction, her first album took elements of reggae and ska and her second having a variety of genres from country to electro-pop while this one appears to be a lot more commercial. However it's like Marina and the Diamonds' album "Electra Heart", has a commercial pop sound but in reality it's kind of taking a stab at modern pop culture. Here is my track by track review of "Sheezus"

1. Sheezus
A brilliant opener. What I like about this track is that it's urban hip-hop style is still reminiscent of Lily Allen's image and personality while still sounding very commercial. It sounds similar to Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" but with a quirky Lily Allen twist. And of course lyrically it rules.

2. L8 CMMR
Transitioning from the dark opener we get a friendly quirky track with bubblegum pop influences. It's a real dancey track with a cute friendly chorus.

3. Air Balloon
Probably the catchiest song of the year so far. Musically it's similar to "L8 CMMR" but with more piano and a more organic sound. This is without a doubt the most family-friendly track on the album but brilliant nonetheless.

4. Our Time
Our Time slows down the pace again. It's very relaxed and quite romantic in a casual way. It has a great urban-like beat too which still sounds like the 2006 Lily Allen we all know.

5. Insincerely Yours
This track take a retro turn but combines it with a modern beat. It's a great and nostalgic track. Definitely worthy of single status!

6. Take My Place
Another of the darker songs on the album. This track has a big dramatic sound and is probably one of the most personal songs on the album as it talks about the struggles of Allen's miscarriage.

7. As Long As I Got You
A country influenced song. Almost like a bigger and better sequel to "Not Fair". It's really quirky and joyful like many of the other tracks on the album but this one takes it to a whole new album. This track is guaranteed to get you dancing at parties!

8. Close Your Eyes
One of the more sensual songs on the album showing off a sexy side to Allen. It's a slower track, definitely one for the romantics!

9. URL Badman
One of the album highlights. This track expresses Allen's frustration at internet trolls which many of us know too well. Musically the track has dubstep influences and a big electric sound to it. Definitely an album highlight!

10. Silver Spoon
A hip-hop influenced track which is about critics who believe her upbringing got her famous. The track has that quirky urban sound seen on her debut album.  Definitely another album highlight!

11. Life For Me
A cheery track in which Allen declares she's happy with how her life is at the moment. Musically it's more acoustic and organic than the rest of the album.

12. Hard Out Here
The lead single we all know and love containing the quirky piano-pop sounds and cutting lyrics! I think it's a great way to finish off the album on a high note and to leave that impression that Lily Allen is not one to fuck with.

On the standard edition of the album there's an interlude before "Somewhere Only We Know", the acoustic and dramatic cover Lily Allen recorded for John Lewis last year. If you buy the deluxe edition you'll get a bonus disc with 5 tracks including "Somewhere Only We Know".

Overall I think it's a great album. We're seeing Lily Allen in a different way than usual. Her first two albums saw her as a singer with attitude however this one is Lily Allen transformed into a pop-diva you just don't mess with. I love the marketing and the persona Lily Allen has taken on for this album. It all works really well to transform and develop Allen as an artist and to send her on her way to stardom.

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