Lily Allen is definitely one of my favorite singers. She along with Amy Winehouse were really the two I listened to the most when I was a teenager.
To date Lily has produced 3 albums. “Alright Still” “Its Not Me Its You” and “Sheezus”. All 3 have been big critical and commercial successes.
If I had to name my favorite album then it might “Its Not Me Its You”, but there is a lot to be enjoyed on all 3 albums.
The real strengths of Lily’s music I’d say are her strong opinions, insightful observations and most of all her wonderfully cheeky, witty sense of humor.
Throughout her career Lily though has been a somewhat controversial figure. Though she has always maintained a devoted fanbase. I think she has always earned quite strong reactions, both positive and negative from the general public because she has always been someone who is not afraid to say what she thinks at any opportunity.
However that’s one of the things I like the most about her. I always thought she was like John Lennon this way. I mean obviously in terms of influence and impact no one can measure up to John Lennon, and very few can match his talent.
However I think Lily was like Lennon in that like him she is someone who has to share her opinions with everyone. John Lennon was always on tv before his retirement and tragic death. He’d always have to say what he thought about this and that, you almost as a fan feel like you know him even today, because you know what he thought of EVERYTHING.
I don’t always agree with either of them of course. There are times when I disagree very strongly, but still I can respect how forthright they both are, and again I feel that is reflected in their music. Lily much like Lennon never really holds anything back, even if it might make her look bad, or petty and that’s a large part of why I have always been a big fan of her music.
In this article I will be taking a look at what I feel are Lily’s top 10 songs.
10/ Hard Out Here
The lead single from Lily’s latest album Sheezus. Hard out here is a song about the exploitation of women in the music industry. I have mixed feelings about it. Its a great track to listen to. The melodies and Lily’s voice are both perfect. However it is its lyrical content that I am not entirely sure about.
The song seems to be a bit confused as to what message its trying to make. On the one hand it attacks the way that female performers are often more criticised if their act is more sexualized, whilst on the other it seemingly attacks female performers whose acts are sexualized.
Still its enjoyable to listen to, even if its content is a bit contradictory.
9/ Friday Night
This song was from her first album and is a little overlooked in my opinion. Its lyrics are very gritty, edgy and humorous like most of the songs on her first album. These are the type of songs that Lily does best of course, and its not hard to see why her first album caught on so quickly. Who else could make such a charming little song about going out and getting drunk and into fights where you call people cunts on a friday night?
8/ The Fear
The lead single from Lily’s second album. I remember the great joy I felt when first hearing this song. Lily had been gone for a while, so it was good to see her return with such a strong, intelligent and thoughtful song as this about the desperation of celebrity culture. You could tell Lily was heading in a different direction with this song. It wasn’t just the usual funny, sarcastic, cutting songs from her first album. Obviously her wit and humor was still there, but this was a much more well observed and thoughtful song than anything on her first album and thus I think was really the perfect song to lead her second album.
7/ He Wasn’t There
This is an absolutely lovely song about her father the actor Keith Allen. Its about how at first their relationship was somewhat difficult, due to the fact that he was an absentee father due to his career and about how his reputation as a hard drinking ladies man may also have also negatively affected their relationship as well. However the song ends on a very happy note with the two of them having now mended their relationship and become very close with one another. There are so many lovely lines in this song such as her saying that she’s so glad that she never gave up on him that he was always her hero in disguise , but I think my favorite is when she says that even with everything that happened she’d never change him for the world.
I think its a shame that this song is not better known as it really shows another side to Lily’s talents as a songwriter. Its a much sweeter, affectionate, type of song than anything you will hear on Alright Still and I cannot recommend it enough.
This is one of Lily’s most interesting songs. Its about God and plays with the idea that God created us to have free will, and hoped that we would build a perfect world without him and make him proud. However we have messed things up so badly that he has become ashamed and fled leaving us to our own devices. It paints a bleak, dark picture. Of both humanity and god. Humanity have failed god, but god is ultimately so useless that he flees rather than do the right thing and help us.
“I cannot bare to see the look upon your faces.”
The song also speculates on what god is really like, playing on the rather interesting idea of god creating man in his own image, so therefore what if God is rather mundane and dull in some ways like us.
Its once again an example of how much more thoughtful her second album is.
Another song about a family member her little brother Alfie. This one is less sweet than He wasn’t there. To be fair though I still think there is a lot of affection in this song, but its of a different kind. I think this is a song that anyone who has been part of a pair of squabbling siblings can relate too and that’s part of what makes it so funny.
I remember my older sister actually played this to me when we were younger. It was the first time I had ever heard Lily Allen and she played it to me as a joke to wind me up. However I had the last laugh on my sister as I loved the track and it ended up putting me on to Lily Allen one of my all time favorites.
Its also worth mentioning that Lily Allen’s little brother is now a famous and successful actor and is currently starring in Game of Thrones!
Another interesting song from Lily. Lily said that this song is about how people who haven’t really decided what they want to do with their lives by the age of the 30, and now feel its too late as they feel they are past their prime. I also feel that the song is perhaps also a comment on how society puts a lot of pressure on people to have accomplished so much at a relatively young age too.
3/ Its Not Fair
One of my favorite ever songs not just from Lily. This song is a classic example of how Lily can write a song about just about anything. This song is about her boyfriend not being good enough in bed and never in her own words making her “scream”. As I have said before you have to give Lily some respect for being able to write a song about premature ejaculation that you end up whistling and even singing to yourself at work.
In its own way this is one of the greatest break up songs of all time. This is the perfect antidote to all of the mature, angsty break up songs that we see from Allens friends and contemporaries like Amy Winehouse and Adele. Obviously their songs like Someone Like You and Love Is A Losing Game are masterpieces, but still its fun watching a break up song that doesn’t try to look at things in a fair and even way. Smile instead just says what we would all really like to do, but never would. Get back at the person who hurt us. Thus in its own way its just as relatable as either Amy or Adele’s songs.
Whilst Amy says “oh what a mess we made” and Adele says “I wish nothing but the best” to her ex Lily says “When I see you cry it makes me smile”. The song is unashamedly petty and vindictive and that’s what makes it such a joy to listen to as like I said in many ways the song is what we would all like to do.
The song reminds me of Jilted John in some ways, only its from a woman’s point of view, and is also at the same time much more vengeful which just makes it even more hilarious.
One of Lily’s most famous songs. I’d say LDN is the best song to introduce someone to Lily Allen. It describes horrible things that she witnesses whilst walking around London, including muggings (and possible homicides) and pimps beating drug addicted prostitutes. Yet its sung in such a comically up beat fashion. Lily’s voice sounds so sweet when she is singing about crack whores and old women being attacked. The song is actually incredibly dark describing a city full of prostitutes and muggers, yet it makes you laugh and is if anything a very upbeat, bouncy track that has even been used in adverts.
Both the song and the video are probably the best examples of Lily’s sense of humor too, which is another reason why I would recommend this as the song to introduce people to Lily Allen.