100 for 2000 – #93. Lily Allen – It’s Not Me, It’s You

To end another wonderful decade of great music, I’m going to write about ten albums from each of the last ten years, that are either great, or hold some sort of personal significance. A musical kiss off to 00s.

2009 – #3. Lily Allen – It’s Not Me, It’s You
(Capitol)

This is the most 2009 of all these 2009 albums. Lily Allen‘s second record It’s Not Me, It’s You totally captures what I saw around me for a year, and how those things felt. And she sounds like she had a lot of fun doing it too.

On the first single, the Fear, Allen is role playing the modern celebrity (I’m a weapon of massive consumption). In wanting to be the dumb starlet of the cover of all those magazines, she gives herself away as being so different, and far better, than the lot. She’s smart, she’s funny, she’s confident and she’s eloquent. And you know, most boys don’t like that.

Over twelve tracks, we get Lily‘s view on a range of issues, in a great, clever, funny, witty Lily way. Opening proceedings is Everyone’s At It, a drug song like I’ve never heard before. A sober and well thought out discussion on the hypocrisy of drugs. And the lass was but 22 when she wrote it.

Drugs, along with love, make up the best song on here. 22 is about an older girl (“she’s nearly thirty now“), still out clubbing, still looking for that man to come along, and it;s looking unlikely. It’s the modern female tragedy – the unsaid dark under-current of Sex And the City. Lily worries about that girl, but worries about becoming her. God knows, I’ve met many of them in my life.

It’s a love album too. It’s a sweet, longing album. The brilliant Chinese boils everything down to just watching TV and having some takeaway together. Who’d Have Known is that hesitant excitement about ordinary, every day love. It’s the opposite of that Jeff Buckley cinematic, doomed romance crap. It’s so down to Earth, and about the details.

But she’s having fun as well. Not Fair, an ode to the female orgasm, was probably thematically the oddest hit song that year. But hearing a packed Glastonbury full of women screaming along to every word – well, it makes a man cross his legs. There’s Fuck You, that might come across as a novelty song, but it would be exactly what a young British person would say to George W Bush. It’s not a political dissection – it’s just a dis.

Sweet, clever, fun and with a big heart. That’s Lily‘s image. And doubly amazing that this one great record, loved by even the harshest of critics, wiped away two years of stupid blogging, tabloid disasters and a terrible TV show. She’s an awesome songwriter, and I hope it doesn’t take that long before she remembers that again.

22, one of many, many great songs from this album. This clip shows Lily as at her most mature, and at the current peak of her powers. Maybe as the years go by, she might head further into this kind of stuff, and leave the jokes behind. I’m kind of torn though, as to whether or not that would be a good thing.

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