ALBUM: “It’s Not Me, It’s You” by Lily Allen
RELEASE YEAR: 2009
LABEL: Regal / Parlophone
BEST TRACKS: “F-ck You” “Chinese” “Everyone’s At It” “Not Fair”
Like quite a few of the pop artists of the day, then 22-year-old Lily Allen rose to fame on MySpace. This album was an absolutely massive hit, but I find it, along with Allen herself, is often forgotten in conversations about pop albums of the 2000s.
This album touches on quite a few subversive themes for a woman pop artist to speak about in the 2000s. For example, “Not Fair” is about not being pleased by a partner in bed, “Him” makes quite a few overt political and religious statements, and “Everyone’s At It” is explicitly about the copious amounts of drug use in the music industry. Allen touches on all of these subjects in the same upbeat manner from song to song.
Greg Kurstin assisted Allen in the songwriting and did all of the production on the album. Track nine, “Who’d Have Known” also gives songwriting credits to members of Take That because of the melodic similarities in the chorus. Notably, “Who’d Have Known” was later sampled by T-Pain in his song “5 O’Clock” in 2011 and was a massive hit.
There’s nothing spectacular about her vocal performance (although, she is one of those British singers who sings in a British accent which I find extremely charming), but her delivery is blunt and almost comedic at times.
This album, in my opinion, is a perfect pop album. Clocking in at 43 minutes with 12 songs, it’s short, sweet and to the point. There’s no dead air, every song is thoroughly enjoyable, and it’s nostalgic. This was one of the first albums I ever truly fell in love with and jump started my interest in discovering new music. I think we, as a culture, need to give Lily Allen credit where credit is due and recognize her as one of the defining pop artists of the 2000s.